2023-10-06 18:27:00

Rumen Radev: EU Must Consolidate Efforts to Fulfil Its Main Goal of Ensuring the Security, Stability and Prosperity of Its Citizens and the Adjacent Regions

It is necessary for the EU to consolidate the efforts of the Member States and the European institutions to fulfil its main objective of ensuring the security, stability and prosperity of European citizens and the adjacent regions. This is what President Rumen Radev called for at the Arraiolos summit in Porto. The political dialogue format is named after the Portuguese city where it held its first meeting in 2003, and the summit in Porto is attended by the presidents of 13 EU member states - Portugal, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland and Slovenia.

In his speech, Rumen Radev stressed that the EU should pay serious attention and respond in a real way to the concerns and expectations of European citizens so that social tensions and populism do not grow. The Head of State said that the future of United Europe will depend first of all on its ability to defend and develop its own vision of a cohesive and strong European Union, which has a positive role in Europe and the world.

As a key challenge for the EU and international security, the president defined Russian Federation's ongoing war against Ukraine, which has already caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and huge destruction for 19 months and the question how it will be stopped still remains open. Rumen Radev stressed that from the first day of the war Bulgaria has condemned aggression and the violation of international law, and it is crucial today that the strategic unity and solidarity in the EU be preserved, prioritising the restoration of peace in Europe and the strengthening of the security architecture.   

Every day of this war threatens international peace and security, and the war of attrition affects not only those directly involved in the hostilities, but also the social and economic systems of all neighbouring countries, Rumen Radev said. The President expressed his concern over the expansion of the territorial scope of the conflict, as well as the growing risk for the countries of the Black Sea region with the bombing of Ukraine's port infrastructure and the restriction of shipping, which leads to a further escalation of the conflict.

That is why, in the President's words, a comprehensive strategy is needed from the international community to stop the fighting between Russia and Ukraine and to win the peace in the long term. The Head of State reiterated that sending more and more weapons does not lead to a solution of the conflict and a rational balance between military, economic and diplomatic measures is needed.

Europe cannot afford to allow this war to continue and approaches must be sought whose main task is to restore peace in Ukraine. That is why strong political will, diplomacy and active negotiations for a just and sustainable peace based on internationally recognised UN principles are needed, Rumen Radev further urged.

President Radev also said that in order to respond effectively to the numerous crises, the EU should strengthen solidarity and achieve results in the interest of common goals. The Head of State called on the European countries to reaffirm their unity on the basis of common principles and commitments within the EU. As an example in this regard, Rumen Radev highlighted the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen, for which both countries have long met the necessary criteria, but their membership is constantly postponed.

In his speech, the President also noted the growing migratory pressure on the EU, which requires a much higher degree of cooperation between the member states. When it comes to countering illegal trafficking, this is a common task of all the countries of the United Europe, not only of the countries at the external European borders, Rumen Radev stressed. The Head of State recalled that the traffickers caught in Bulgaria are citizens of almost all EU member states and this requires uniting efforts to destroy the financial and organisational centres of illegal trafficking in human beings in Europe.

Building a green economy in Europe is a common goal, but it must be achieved in synchrony and not in contradiction with other important goals of United Europe - the development of a competitive economy, high quality and standards of living for citizens, the President said. Rumen Radev reminded that the closure of base capacities in Europe, with much lower electricity prices in many regions of the world, makes this very difficult to achieve and requires a real assessment of the capabilities of individual countries.

In his speech at the forum Rumen Radev also stressed that the debate on the future of Europe is unthinkable without focusing on the demographic crisis on the Old Continent. The President highlighted the need to prioritise demographic policies in order for the EU's goals of technological leadership, sustainable development and a strategic role in the global world to succeed.



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