“The efforts of the Parliamentary Dimension of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU were concentrated on consolidating the European Union around common actions in priority policies, through effective dialogue.” pointed out the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria, Tsveta Karayancheva. With these words, she opened the Plenary Meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (Plenary COSAC) – the final event of the Parliamentary Dimension of the Bulgarian Presidency. The forum was attended by delegations from the Committees on European Affairs of the National Parliaments of the EU Member States.
“We would like the European Union to continue walking on this path after our Presidency is over. New policies should be formed and applied more and more effectively and should achieve more sustainable results” underlined the Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament. Ms Karayancheva added that the National Assembly will speed up the progress towards this aim. According to her, during the past few months Bulgaria has actively contributed to the achievement of the goals set by the Presidency Trio Programme (Estonia – Bulgaria – Austria).
“All the events hosted by the Bulgarian Parliament were held in the context of the debate on EU’s future” highlighted Tsveta Karayancheva. “The Bulgarian Presidency emphasized on the integration of the Western Balkans in the Union” stated the Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament, expressing her hope that the support of the national parliaments and the European Parliament will be adequately taken into account by the national governments and the European Council.
She pointed out that significant progress in negotiating and adopting effective legislation in the field of migration management and asylum reform had been also made during the Bulgarian Presidency. The Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament underlined the importance of the issues related to the ongoing debate on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021 – 2027 as part of the political dialogue for the future of Europe. In her words, since the endorsement of the European Pillar of Social Rights at the end of the last year, we had witnessed an active political dialogue that aimed to build a more inclusive, efficient and fairer Europe.
“As parliamentarians, we support the continuation of creating an ever closer union among Europe’s nations, where decisions are taken as close as possible to the citizens, in line with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality” said Tsveta Karayancheva. “It is our primary duty to draft legislation that fully meets the expectations of European citizens and protects their interests” underlined the Speaker of the Parliament.
The President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, also addressed the parliamentary representatives attending the conference. “Time is pressing us to take concrete action to protect our values and principles, to defend the enormous achievements of our Union and to develop them further”, stressed out the Bulgarian President.
Rumen Radev said that the active involvement of national parliaments in the discussions on the future of Europe is of key importance, as it gives democratic legitimacy to the political dialogue. “National parliaments are an important channel for communication between European policies and national institutions and societies” he said. In his address Mr Radev emphasized on the special role of the parliamentarians - to assess what has been achieved and to outline the future prospects for European policies.
With regard to the accomplishments of the Bulgarian EU Presidency, Mr Radev praised highly the Bulgarian government for making the integration of the Western Balkans one of its main priorities. “We all agree that it is impossible to talk about stable and prosperous Europe without guaranteeing security and stability in the Western Balkans’ region” said the President of Bulgaria. ”Someone had to take responsibility, identify the problems, start discussions and take concrete actions” added Rumen Radev. In his words, the Bulgarian government had shown consistency and had focused back on the Western Balkans in a very destructive environment.
“In atmosphere of honest and open dialogue, the Bulgarian government showed persistence and organizational skills. During its EU Presidency, Bulgaria has managed to generate a broad consensus among the Member States and the European Institutions on many important topics “ said the Bulgarian President.
At the opening of the forum, the Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr Kristian Vigenin stated that all parliamentary parties were actively involved in the Parliamentary Dimension of the Bulgarian Presidency. “Under the slogan “United We Stand Strong”, over the last six months we were dedicated to the establishment of more united, balanced, secured and fairer Europe. We are far from the illusion that within six months we can overcome the challenges and resolve the serious problems faced by the Union in the recent years." highlighted Mr. Vigenin.
“Europe is composed of many elements and it could function properly only if all of us - EU institutions, national governments and parliaments, try to find a common language and walk together in the same direction.” said the Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds. “At institutional and political level, we need to realize that behind every decision there are the hopes and dreams of 500 million Europeans. If the hope is lost, the vitality and motivation that move us forward will be also lost” stated Mr. Vigenin.
“I believe that the discussions we will have today will be useful and right on time to promote interparliamentary cooperation and the exchange of information and opinions on topical issues, part of the EU agenda” concluded the Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds.
In her speech before the delegates, the First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Ms Mairead McGuinness, congratulated the success of the Bulgarian EU Presidency. She reminded the audience for the EU-Western Balkans Summit held on 17 May 2018 in Sofia. Ms McGuinness pointed out that the Sofia Declaration was an important step that highlighted EU’s interest in the region. “We love our European social model, and we have to protect it. Our citizens expect concrete and clear results." said the First Vice-President of the European Parliament.