Bulgaria and Portugal Share the Stance that the Economic and Social Cohesion in the EU Has No Alternative
The economic and social cohesion in the EU has no alternative and Bulgaria and Portugal will continue to work to preserve the Cohesion Policy as a factor for overcoming the discrepancies in Europe. This was the stance shared by President Rumen Radev and the Prime Minister of the Portuguese Republic Antonio Costa, who held a meeting today in Lisbon. The two discussed a lot of issues on the EU agenda, among which the debate on Europe’s future, the European prospects of the Western Balkans, and the opportunities for developing the economic relations between Bulgaria and Portugal.
President Radev also raised the issue of the so called Mobility 1 package at all the meetings he held in Lisbon, as it emerged from his words to the journalists, after the end of his talks with Prime Minister Antonio Costa. “Portugal is clearly aware of the negative effects the package will have on countries that are distanced from Central Europe in geographical terms. Of course, their vote will depend on the dynamics of the process in the European Parliament commissions. However, they are completely aware of the negative consequences,” the Head of State said.
Taking a journalist’s question, the President said that Portugal may be an example of a country that defends its national interests in the Eurozone – the country proposes that there should be a separate budget for the Eurozone, which should assist the countries lagging behind in their economic and social development, so that they maintain and raise their competitiveness. Rumen Radev further commented that Bulgaria has set as a strategic goal the full integration within the European structures, which includes membership in Schengen and the Eurozone. “However, blind enthusiasm is not always useful,” the President further said and gave as an example Portugal’s experience shared by Prime Minister Antonio da Costa, namely that after adopting the euro, Portugal went through a period of economic difficulties. He called on Bulgaria to draw lessons from the problems the countries that adopted the euro before us experienced.
“We say yes to the Eurozone. However, we should make a deep and honest risk assessment and identify clear preliminary measures as to how to minimize the potential risks to which the Bulgarian economy and the Bulgarian citizens are exposed. If we should be in a hurry for something, this should be to increase the administrative capacity and raise incomes, as EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis recommended. Otherwise you know who will have to bear the negative effects – the Bulgarian citizens,” Rumen Radev was adamant.
During the second day of his visit to Portugal, Head of State Rumen Radev also held talks with the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues and representatives of the Parliamentary group for friendship with Bulgaria.
In Lisbon, the Bulgarian Head of State also met the mayor of the city Fernando Medina, who gave Rumen Radev the honorary key of the city at a ceremony in the Pacos do Conselho de Lisboa Palace.
Later on the Presidents of Bulgaria and Portugal toured the ancient town in Lisbon.