Vice President Margarita Popova: Relations between Bulgaria and Rhineland-Palatinate are an example of European co-operation
The Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Kurt Beck, voiced firm support for Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen zone.
Bulgaria relies heavily on the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate in the area of judicial reform, co-operation is at a very high level and is a good basis for upgrading bilateral relations. This view is shared by Vice President Margarita Popova and the Prime Minister of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Kurt Beck. Vice President Popova is on a working visit to Germany. The Prime Minister of the Federal State expressed appreciation for the personal contribution of Vice President Margarita Popova to progress in judicial reform in Bulgaria.
Prime Minister Beck voiced strong support for Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area. He said that Bulgaria's accession to Schengen was in Europe’s interest. According to Mr Beck, the gap between European citizens should be overcome as quickly as possible.
“For Bulgaria the support of Prime Minister Kurt Beck and Rhineland-Palatinate is very important, not only because of the crisis in Europe, but also because our country needs to eliminate past shortcomings,” Vice President Popova said. The bilateral relations between Bulgaria and the federal state are a good example of European co-operation, she said. “The contacts at this level make me optimistic that Europe will emerge stronger from the crisis,” Vice President Popova said.
Bulgaria and Rhineland-Palatinate have the opportunity to deepen their contacts in tourism, small and medium-sized enterprises, culture, education and science, the Vice President said.
At the meeting, Prime Minister Kurt Beck’s idea that teaching of German at Bulgarian schools be part of the “hour of democracy” was discussed. Vice President Popova welcomed the idea, which could be developed with the participation of leading German and Bulgarian professors and public figures. She said that implementing the idea would contribute to the development of democratic thinking among young people.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Jochen Hartlof and the Honorary Consul of Bulgaria in the federal state, Karl-Juergen Wilbert.
Earlier in the day, the Vice President met the Chairman of the Board of Frankfurt Airport, Stefan Schulte. Vice President Popova and Mr Schulte discussed possibilities to encourage tourism to Bulgaria and to promote it effectively. The need for active marketing of Bulgarian tourism and its extension beyond the summer tourist season were discussed. Vice President Popova said that she would help to establish closer contacts in this regard with the Bulgarian Economy Ministry.
Tomorrow, March 15, Vice President Popova will open a conference on the management of EU borders, organized by the Academy of European Law. She will also meet the Bulgarian community in Cologne.