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Minister Svetlan Stoev welcomed the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU

02 July 2021 News

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Svetlan Stoev welcomed the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, which began on July 1, 2021, and expressed hope that they would enable the right solutions for a better and more prosperous Europe to be sought in the next 6 months.

"The motto of the Slovenian Presidency -" Together. Resilient. Europe" fully fits into the Bulgarian foreign policy priorities. These three main words, united in one message, are very close to the message of the Bulgarian presidency - "Unity makes strength", said Svetlan Stoev during the presentation of the priorities of the Slovenian presidency. The debate was organized at the EC Representation in Sofia by PanEurope Bulgaria and the Conrad Adenauer Foundation.

Among the priorities of Slovenia's EU presidency, Svetlan Stoev highlighted the recovery from the pandemic and the strengthening of the EU's resilience to crises. According to our Foreign Minister, Europe can be congratulated on certain successes from the point of view of medicine, for example, the development of a vaccine in an extremely short time. The vaccination campaign is also a success, Stoev stressed, expressing hope for intensification of vaccination in Bulgaria.

An important step towards a return to normal way of life, according to our Foreign Minister, is the introduction of the digital COVID certificate in the EU on July 1st, which will facilitate the movement of citizens.

For getting out of the crisis, Svetlan Stoev also singled out the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, which, in his words, is unprecedented in its scale. He stressed that since the beginning of the mandate, the caretaker government has been reviewing Bulgaria's national recovery plan with an emphasis on investing in the future. The plan is expected to be submitted to the EC by the end of July.

"Europe needs to be more sustainable, competitive and autonomous, and autonomy does not mean isolationism, but that it must rely on itself," Stoev said.

Regarding the EU enlargement policy, our Foreign Minister said that Bulgaria is ready to start the negotiation process with Albania immediately, while in regards to the Republic of North Macedonia the caretaker government complies with the declaration of the 44th National Assembly and the Framework Position of the Council of Ministers of October 2019. "These are red lines approved by all political forces, and they are the starting point for our consistent policy," Stoev said.

He highlighted the dialogue with the Republic of North Macedonia and its EU partners as a new moment in the policy pursued by the caretaker government.

"The difference is in the dialogue, which we are trying to conduct on an extremely constructive basis, and in a direction that will give the necessary guarantees for its continuation in a new parliament and regular government," said Svetlan Stoev.

"The active explanation of our position to our European partners is also different - something that was missing until now. There is better listening to what is being discussed now - if before the criticism was more than understanding, now the member states are listening to what Bulgaria says, "he added.

Svetlan Stoev once again stressed that Bulgaria is open to dialogue with the Republic of North Macedonia, but it must be constructive, based on good intentions and trust, which has been lost.

"Hate speech must disappear in our bilateral relations," our foreign minister said. According to him, the trust has been lost due to the fact that a number of politicians from the Republic of North Macedonia have chosen to visit the capitals of the EU member states, instead of talking to their partners in Bulgaria. "This pressure, which they tried to impose on Bulgaria through our partners, gave no results. It is high time to understand that the most direct way is the bilateral dialogue, " the Foreign Minister stressed. 

During his speech, Minister Stoev touched upon two other priorities of the Slovenian Presidency - migration policy and the rule of law. He described the discussion on the new Pact on Migration and Asylum as extremely important and stressed that as a country that is an external border for the EU, it is crucial for Bulgaria to establish a fair balance between responsibility and solidarity.

Commenting on the rule of law, Svetlan Stoev pointed out that Bulgaria and Romania are still subject to the Cooperation and Evaluation Mechanism. "The latest report on Bulgaria gave a positive assessment of the implementation of the recommendations in this mechanism, but it, unfortunately, has not been canceled. We insist on its removal, as the introduced Mechanism for the Rule of Law provides sufficient grounds for monitoring the relevant processes in this area, "said Stoev.

Svetlan Stoev wished success to the Slovenian Presidency, because according to him his success will be a success for the whole of Europe.

The discussion was also attended by the Ambassador of Slovenia to Bulgaria Andrzej Franges, Gergana Passy, President of PanEurope Bulgaria, Thorsten Geisler, Head of the Conrad Adenauer Foundation Office in Bulgaria, Director of the Diplomatic Institute Tanya Mihailova and Head of the EC Representation in Sofia Tsvetan Kyulanov. Special guests in the debate were the trainee attachés at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the current 16th class.

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