President Rosen Plevneliev: Bulgarian society will achieve consensus on national priorities
Bulgarian society has the potential to achieve non-partisan consensus on national priorities, President Rosen Plevneliev and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov agreed at a meeting at 2 Dondoukov Boulevard.
The Head of State met the leadership of political party GERB as part of the President’s “month of political consultations”.
Major topics of discussion at the meeting included preparations for the Bulgaria 2020 national strategy, measures to overcome the negative effects of the crisis and to create a good business environment, energy, and reforms to be implemented by the end of 2012.
The President outlined priorities on which there had been consensus after discussions with the Blue Coalition, Bulgarian Socialist Party and Movement for Rights and Freedoms. Some of these points will be included in the Bulgaria 2020 National Strategy.
Prime Minister Borissov praised President Plevneliev for initiating the dialogue with parties represented in Parliament, and underlined GERB’s readiness to contribute to drafting the national strategy by the summer of 2012.
The Prime Minister introduced the Health Minister-designate, Desislava Atanasova, and the nominee to be Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Delyan Dobrev.
Prime Minister Borissov said that maintaining fiscal stability would be a top priority for the GERB Government, and this would in turn enable the country to regularly pay its international obligations and protect investor confidence in the Bulgarian economy. President Plevneliev said that to improve the business environment in Bulgaria and attract more investments, it would be necessary to increase the effectiveness of the InvestBulgaria Agency and to introduce the principle of “one-stop shop” service for investors.
The meeting emphasised that energy remains a key sector of the national economy and is essential to increasing its competitiveness. President Plevneliev said that it was necessary to improve energy efficiency in Bulgaria, which in the EU ranked last in this respect.
Prime Minister Borissov informed the President about the efforts being made to diversify the routes of transmission of energy resources in Bulgaria and the forthcoming construction of interconnections between Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.
The Prime Minister also commented on the Belene project, emphasising GERB’s principle position that implementing the project depending on an economically justifiable price. He said that the GERB government was ready to comply with whatever society wanted, including through holding a national referendum on Belene or through exploring shale gas deposits in Bulgaria.
In this regard, President Plevneliev said that holding a national referendum may be initiated by both the executive and the presidential institution, but the decision requires a vote by the Bulgarian parliament.
Both President Plevneliev and Prime Minister Borissov emphasised the importance of continuing reforms in the security sector. The President said that he awaited the adoption of new laws to regulate the activities of the National Security Service and the National Intelligence Service. It was confirmed that this issue will be discussed by the Consultative Council on National Security at the end of March.
The important of judicial system reform as a precondition for Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen was discussed. The importance of adopting criminal asset forfeiture legislation and the introduction of transparent rules for the election of the Supreme Judicial Council were both noted.
The Prime Minister briefed the President on steps towards the development of e-government in Bulgaria, the most effective measure to facilitate communication between citizens and state institutions. President Plevneliev said that meeting this goal called for the acceptance of personal responsibility and for work to be completed strictly within set deadlines.
The President said that the introduction of the electronic health card and the prioritization of emergency medical services in the next European Commission programme period, 2014 – 2020, were crucial to health care reform and to improving the quality of health services. Health Minister-designate Atanasova confirmed that the technology available to emergency medical services would be updated and that electronic cards would be issued to patients. This would facilitate access to essential health care services and assist the work of medical personnel.