Which is the Bulgarian answer to the changes in the EU?

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The opening page of the presentation (photo: Vladimir Mitev)

Vladimir Mitev showed at a conference inside the Romanian parliament a presentation about Sofia’s searches for a road ahead in the Europe of the speeds

The changes in the EU, called with the formula “Europe of the speeds” lead to debates in Bulgaria and in Romania. On 29 May 2017 the Romanian parliament hosted the conference “Quo vadis, European public space? The EU reform and its implications with regard to security and public communication”, which was organized by the Cristian University “Dimitrie Cantemir, by the Institute for Political Sciences and International Relations at the Romanian Academy and the Commision for Defense, Public Order and National Security at the lower chamber of the Romanian parliament. Researches from both scientific institutions participated and analyzed problems such as Brexit, populism in the EU, the informational war, the rusophobic discourse and other issues such demography and fiscal policy.

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Georgi Pirinski: Romania and Bulgaria can initiate the development of a macroregional strategy for the Black Sea region

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Georgi Pirinski (photo: Veni Markovski for Wikipedia)

Both EU member states have clearly overlapping interests in the realisation of peace and sustainable development in the region of Black Sea, believes the Bulgarian diplomat and member of the European parliament

Georgi Pirinski is born on 10 September 1948 in New York. He was the Bulgarian deputy minister of foreign trade between 1980 and 1989. He was a member of the Bulgarian parliament in the period 1990-2013. He was the foreign minister of Bulgaria (1995-1996) and president of the National Assembly (2005-2009). He became a member of the European parliament in 2014. 

Mr. Pirinski, at a round table in Sofia in the beginning of April 2017 you presented the idea for the creation of a Black Sea euroregion, which could become a part of the political initiatives of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU in the first half of 2018. What is the essence of your idea? What are the results that you expect to be obtained by the Black Sea countries and by the EU following its realization?

The essence of the idea which was discussed at the conference on 3 April 2017 in Sofia was that an attempt could be made for Bulgaria and Romania as Black Sea member states of the EU to initiate the development of the so-called Macroregional strategy for the Black Sea region. In conformity with the common definition, a macroregional strategy is an integrated framework which is approved by the European Council and aims at the overcoming of challenges in a certain geographical region. These challenges affect member states and third countries which are placed in it. Together all of them collaborate stronger so that they could achieve economic, social and territorial cohesion.

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Lyubomir Kyuchukov: Europe must have a strategy for the region of Black Sea, the only European sea which has remained “ownerless”

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Lyubomir Kyuchukov (photo: Petar Ganev)

The most natural collaboration in the EU is the one between Romania and Bulgaria, thinks the Bulgarian diplomat

Vladimir Mitev

Lyubomir Kyuchukov is a Bulgarian diplomat and foreign policy expert. He has graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and has specialized in the Georgetown University in Washington. He has started his diplomatic career as an attaché in the Bulgarian embassy in Bucharest. He has been deputy minister of foreign affairs, a member of the Council for European and Euroatlantic Integration at the Presidency of Bulgaria, a member of the Council for Eurointegration at the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria. In the period 2009-2012 he was the Bulgarian ambassador to London. At this moment he is the director of the Institute for Economy and International Relations. He speaks English, Russian, Romanian, French and can use Italian language.

Mr. Kyuchukov, the idea for the creation of an European strategy for the Black Sea region, which could become an initiative of Sofia in the times of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU in the first half of 2018 was presented at a round table, organized in April 2017 in Sofia by The Institute for Economy and International Relations, The Friedrich Ebert Foundation and The Bulgarian Diplomatic Society. What is the essence of this idea? What are the concrete actions of the EU and of the regional countries that could become its materialization?

The proposal which was launched by ambassador Bisserka Benisheva and me is that Bulgaria, in the frame of its presidency of the Council of the EU, should accept as its political priority the development of a Black Sea agenda of the EU. In other words, this is a long-term strategy of the EU for the Black Sea region. Additionally, a few years ago the European Parliament approved a resolution which urged for such an action. In 2003 Greece put as a priority of its presidency the accession of the Balkans in the EU. As a result, the Thessaloniki Agenda was promulgated and it has determined the European policy towards the region ever since. The Mediterranean Union was formed in the times of the French presidency in 2008. It comprises of the 28 member-states of the EU and of 15 states of the North Africa and Middle East. In parallel to that, the EU has its own strategy for the Baltic region with advanced forms and an established collaboration network, which includes also Russia. It looks like the only “ownerless” sea of the EU is the Black Sea.

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