The trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers in Buchrest has created new expectations towards the summit about the Western Balkans in Sofia and the one about the Danube Strategy in Rousse in May 2018
This article was published on 13 March 2018 on the site ”The Barricade”.
The tenth trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Greece, Bulgaria and Romania showed the capability of these three countries to speak with a common voice and the knack for every one of them to announce or receive support for its key initiatives. Such trilateral and quadrilateral formats (together with Serbia) have been backing regional cooperation and infestructural interconnectivity for the last few years. This time, just like before, there were no announcement of concrete data for provided expenditures or for terms, within which certain projects will be completed.
However, the talks are an apparent step on the road towards few forthcoming diplomatic events. One of them is the Western Balkans summit, which will take place on 17 May 2018 in Sofia. The other one is the summit of presidents of Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and Estonia in Rousse, which is planned for the beginning of May 2018. Its focus will have to be the Danubean strategy. Surely, in the list with forthcoming activities have to enter also the three countries` efforts to realise natural gas transmission projects, and the forthcoming Romanian presidency of the EU in the first six months of 2019.
An interview with the former Bulgarian ambassador in Bucharest about the Bulgarian and the Romanian presidency of the EU, about the dangers before the two countries that come from developments in the Black Sea and Middle Eastern region, about the Chinese perspective and the possibilities for regional cooperation
Valentin Radomirski is a Bulgarian diplomat and a foreign policy expert. He has graduated from the Moscow State University of International Relations in 1974 (having studied ”International Economic Relations”). He starts work in the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Relations in 1974. He was a counselor on foreign policy and national security in the cabinet of the Bulgarian prime minister Sergei Stanishev between 2005 and 2009. He was the Bulgarian ambassador to Romania between 2009 and 2012. After that he has been ambassador for special assignments, who was responsible for regional cooperation for an year. He was an unaccredited ambassador in the Bulgarian embassy in The Republic of Moldova between October 2013 and June 2015. He retires in 2015. He is often asked to comment on international relations by Bulgarian media.
”The Barricade” approached Valentin Radomirski with questions about the situation in the regions of constant interest for Bulgaria and Romania – Western Balkans and Black Sea, about the dangers before both countries in the changing international relations, about the possibilities for regional cooperation and so on.
An interview about the problems, related to the Romanian Fiscal Code, about the recent protests, caused by the changes in the anti-corruption fight, about the current condition of workers` rights and the crisis in labour relations
Victoria Stoiciu is the programme coordinator of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Romania. She makes a doctorate in the University „Babeş-Bolyai” in Cluj Napoca. She is also a national correspondent for Romania of Eurofound – an EU agency, which researches the labour and life conditions in the member states of the European community.
Stoiciu speaks with Baricada about the problems, caused by the new Fiscal Code, about the protests, provoked by the changes in the anti-corruption fight, about the current condition of workers` rights and the campaign „Heroes of Capitalist Labour“ of the Coalition for Labour, which is supported by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and presents cases of labour relations abuses.
The prime minister Mihai Tudose resigned after a scandal with the internal minister Carmen Dan – a close ally of Social Democratic Party`s leader Liviu Dragnea, while tensions grew with the Hungarian minority. Echoes of the conflicts could be felt at the press conference that presented the Bulgarian priorities for leading the EU
This article was published on 17 January 2018 at the site “Baricada”.
„We`ll see each other exactly after a year again here for the presentation of the Romanian presidency of the EU“, said the Romanian foreign minister Teodor Meleşcanu at the end of a press conference in the representation office of the European Commission in Bucharest. The public laughed. The 76-old veteran of Romanian diplomacy expressed his expectations for the future, attempting to play a little bit with those present, only a moment after the director of the representation office of the EC in Romania Angela Cristea had closed the event. Apparently, Meleşcanu was happy with his meeting with almost 50 diplomats and journalists from 21 media. So he allowed himself to express confidence in the future.
At this moment no one in the conference room, even Meleşcanu (as it is witnessed by the quote) didn`t expect that only 11 hours later the premier Mihai Tudose will resign. There was an ongoing media scandal between Tudose and the internal minister Carmen Dan, who is a close ally of the Social Democrat Party`s leader Liviu Dragnea. The prime minister accused the internal minister in lying on the occasion of appointment of the chief of Romanian police and said that he can no longer work with her. However Dan refused to resign. Dragnea showed that he protects his ally. So Tudose had to resign.
The Romanian foreign minister answered a question of the blog ”Bridge of Friendship” at a joint press conference with the Bulgairan ambassador in Bucharest
This article was published on 16 January 2018 at the site “Baricada”.
”The problems of Danubean and Black Sea regions should occupy a higher place on the EU’s agenda”, said the Romanian foreign minister Teodor Meleşcanu during a press conference in the representative office of the European Commission in Bucharest. The press conference took place on 15 January 2018. Hours after it the prime minister Mihai Tudose resigned as a result of a political crisis within the government`s ranks and a conflict with the strong man in the Social Democratic Party Liviu Dragnea. However press conference`s topic was not the political crisis, but the priorities of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU, which has just started. They were presented by the Bulgarian ambassador in Romania Todor Churov. The event was visited by almost 50 diplomats and journalists from 21 media, including the blog ”Bridge of Friendship”.
After neighbours` economy grew with 8,8% in the third quarter, Bulgarian Economic Chamber came out with a document and explanations about the their success. However the theses of Bulgarian economic experts would surprise their Romanian colleagues
This article was published on 23 December 2017 on the site ”Baricada”.
Romanian and Bulgarian have been comparing both countries economically for more than ten years. There is a simple cause for that – their economies and societies are comparable in various dimensions. Romania and Bulgaria will never become what Germany is and comparisons with it could only bring dissatisfaction. But if the neighbouring country is a point of reference, one could get a relatively good idea about his direction of movement.
Infrastructural projects and international relations are two domains, where Bucharest and Sofia look for collaboration, but don`t manage always to find reciprocity
The blog „Bridge of Friendship“ published a digital book in English, Romanian and Bulgarian language, called „The Difficult Cooperation: Romania and Bulgaria’s Foreign Policy Exchanges and Infrastructural Projects after a decade in the EU“. The document collects 11 articles, published on the blog in the last two years. A part of these articles is republished on blog with permission from media in Croatia (Bilten), Romania (Gândul, PS News, Ioniţa`s) and Bulgaria (A-specto, Baricada).