Presidents Rumen Radev and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa: The Recovery and Sustainability Plans Are an Investment in the Modernisation and Sustainable Future of the EU
Bulgaria is the country most interested in the European integration of the Western Balkans, but this must be a sustainable and irreversible process, the Head of State declared
The Recovery and Sustainability Plans are an investment in the modernisation, solidarity, strength and shared future of the European Union, stated President Rumen Radev during a joint press conference with the President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who is on an official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of the Bulgarian Head of State. The Portuguese President was welcomed by Mr. Rumen Radev at an official ceremony, where President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Presidents of Bulgaria and Portugal held a tête-à-tête meeting at the Presidency, following which plenary discussions between the two official delegations also took place.
Bulgaria, just like Portugal, holds in high regard its Recovery and Sustainability Plan, emphasised President Rumen Radev. The Head of State noted that the Bulgarian Plan is being reworked in order to “lead the country towards modernisation and decisive economic growth”, focused on innovations and high tech. “The plan must cover as many people as possible. Investments must be made in human capital with particular attention to be paid to education and healthcare,” the President added. The Portuguese Head of State pointed out that in Portugal’s Recovery and Sustainability Plan the focus is also on healthcare, education and professional qualification, digitalisation and investment in renewable energy sources.
The two Presidents outlined emigration, especially of young and active people, as a shared issue for Bulgaria and Portugal which further compounds the demographic landscape in both countries. Therefore, the Recovery and Sustainability Plans must include projects to create conditions for the realisation of young people in their own countries above all, agreed Mr. Rumen Radev and Mr. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
Overcoming the consequences of the pandemic in the EU was also among the topics discussed during the meeting between the two Presidents. Both Mr. Rumen Radev and Mr. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa outlined the importance of the social and economic aspects of the pandemic, as well as the necessity of an active policy within the EU in this regard. President Radev also underlined the contribution of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU for the fair distribution of vaccines for the Member States.
Mr. Rumen Radev described the excellent partnership between Bulgaria and Portugal on many topics on the EU agenda as an example of how together we can be more successful in our joint efforts for creating a more secure, stable and successful Europe. As States defending the external borders of the EU, work on forming a single European policy regarding the challenges due to the migration flows towards Europe is extremely important.
The perspectives of deepening bilateral cooperation between Bulgaria and Portugal in the fields of education, culture, digitalisation, science and innovations were also at the forefront of the talks between the two Presidents.
Bulgaria is the country most interested in the European integration of the Western Balkans, Mr. Rumen Radev replied to a journalist’s question. The Bulgarian Head of State thanked his Portuguese counterpart for the efforts of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU for the constructive and respectable approach, as well as for the regeneration of the highest-level dialogue with the Republic of North Macedonia. “Now we must do so that young people in Bulgaria and in the Republic of North Macedonia will be open to one-another and strengthen mutual respect and understanding,” Mr. Rumen Radev noted.
“We must not think of enlarging the EU from a mechanical standpoint. It is not a sprint where we must finish in a pre-set time restriction. This is a shared trip of friends in a sustainable and irreversible process,” President Rumen Radev said during the joint press conference with his Portuguese counterpart, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
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