The President: Bulgaria Should be an Active Participant and Partner in Forming the EU’s Policies
Bulgarian diplomacy should be even more focused on strengthening the commitment of our compatriots abroad to Bulgaria, Rumen Radev called for in a video-conference with the Bulgarian ambassadors abroad
Bulgaria should be part of the big debate in the European Union, should participate in forming a consensus on European policies, not just stick to already made decisions and should be a recipient of EU funds. This is what Head of State Rumen Radev said in a video conference with the heads of Bulgarian diplomatic missions within the traditional meeting of the Bulgarian ambassadors.
In the President’s words, Bulgaria’s more active role in the endorsement of the EU Multiannual Financial Framework and in regard to the Recovery Package is an opportunity to reform important areas for our country. Bulgaria should strive for cohesion not only with respect to infrastructure, but also in the area of education and science, without which real and sustainable social and economic cohesion cannot be achieved. The integration of the Bulgarian defense science and industry in the common European projects and in the security policy also provides an opportunity in this respect.
Bulgaria is a country with an open economy, whose GDP to a great extent depends on sustainable export and some of the imposed restrictions by the coronavirus directly affect our economic positions, the President said. The President highlighted the protection of the Bulgarian export in conditions of crisis and preventing the loss of Bulgaria’s trade potential among the challenges our diplomats are facing. “Investment cooperation also suffers damage from the coronavirus, yet it is crucial for our economic growth,” the Head of State said.
The President reiterated the need to bridge the expanding technological gap between the individual NATO member states and to prevent a lasting division in the alliance of manufacturers of defense equipment and weapons on the one hand and buyers on the other. The Bulgarian President voiced this thesis back at the NATO summit in London held in December 2019 and was supported by the participating countries. The President called on our diplomats to work for achieving interoperability as early as the stage of design and manufacture of defense platforms and equipment.
In front of the Bulgarian diplomats Rumen Radev highlighted the strategic partnership between our country and the US, the potential of which far exceeds the cooperation in the military sphere. According to the Head of State, increasing the US investments in information technologies, the scientific, educational and technological exchange should be put in the focus of Bulgarian diplomacy. “An even more active partnership with the US is necessary for fulfilling the assumed commitment for upholding the rule of law in Bulgaria and fighting corruption,” the President said.
The potential for economic cooperation in the Black Sea region via equal and mutually-beneficial relations with the countries from the region was also noted by the President. The Head of State highlighted the resumed political dialogue with Russia in the past two years, which creates conditions for a long-term and well-based cooperation. Russia remains a leading supplier of energy resources to Bulgaria and our country has the potential to establish itself also as a country transiting natural gas to Europe.
In his speech Rumen Radev said that the Bulgarian national interest in Southeastern Europe requires guaranteeing stability, economic development and the European prospects of our region. The Head of State recalled that on his initiative in September 2019 a consultative meeting was held for developing Bulgaria’s frame position in relation to the candidate states for EU membership – Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia. The sustainable development of good-neighborly relations in the Balkans and respecting the historical Bulgarian communities is of key importance for achieving success in the process of European integration.
Rumen Radev congratulated the Bulgarian diplomats for their contribution to preserving the administrative and territorial status of the Bolgrad region, preserving the unity of the Bulgarian national minority in Ukraine and strengthening the bilateral ties.
In the President’s words, the lack of financial and human resources leads to Bulgaria’s withdrawal from important world regions and processes. Big Bulgarian communities abroad, which do not have an active connection with their homeland, also suffer negative consequences. Rumen Radev called for reconsidering the adopted approach and updating the staff of the Bulgarian diplomatic missions in countries in which hundreds of thousands of our compatriots already live.
The prospects for strengthening the bilateral relations of our country with partners such as China, the Republic of Korea and Japan were also highlighted in the President’s speech. Rumen Radev called for intensifying Bulgarian diplomacy to materialize the bilateral declaration on raising the relations with China to the level of strategic partnership, achieved during his visit in Beijing in July 2019. Bulgaria’s relations with Japan and the partners form Southeastern Asia also enjoy an enormous potential for strengthening the investment cooperation.
During his speech to the heads of the diplomatic missions abroad the Head of State confirmed the readiness of the Bulgarian presidential institution to host the Three Seas regional initiative in 2021. The initiative aims at promoting the connectivity in Eastern Europe in the energy, transport, digitalization and education areas.