Prime Minister Boyko Borissov presented the draft programme for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the priorities laid down in it in front of the members of the Supreme Political Consultative Board. The first meeting of the Board today was attended by five of its six members – Rosen Plevneliev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria (2012-2017), Simeon Sakskoburggotski, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria (2001-2005), Hans-Gert Poettering, President of the European Parliament (2007-2009), Erwin Proell, Prime Minister of Lower Austria (1992-2017), and Ambassador Jean-David Levitte. Due to commitments, Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council (2010-2014) could not travel to Bulgaria.
Prime Minister Borissov thanked the members of the Board for their commitment to the Bulgarian Presidency. According to him, their reputation as politicians of international recognition will be of key importance for Bulgaria in its strife to strengthen European values and unity and solidarity in the Union. “There is no better place than the EU – neither to the East, nor to the West, and we will work for its success,” the Prime Minister was unequivocal.
Our country has a very responsible approach to its first presidency, even more so, given that it coincides with the time for making decisions of critical importance for the future of united Europe, said Borissov. He pointed out that Bulgaria will seek the balance and will encourage the attainment of broad consensus on issues of priority for the EU, will work for an increase in competitiveness and stability through cohesion, and the creation of conditions for unity and solidarity. “Our ambition is to succeed in fulfilling the priorities laid out in the Commission’s Agenda for a more united, strong, and democratic union,” underlined Borissov.
I am convinced that your country is a very good role model for abiding by European values and will show this during its presidency, said Ambassador Levitte. According to him, it is an exceptional opportunity for Bulgaria to have such a prime minister like Boyko Borissov at such a key moment. “He is the second most long-standing leader in the EU after Merkel, he is recognized, respected, and unites the leaders of the EU,” added Levitte and said that Bulgaria has a very good capacity in respect to the relations of the EU with the Western Balkans, Turkey, and Russia.
Readiness to support the efforts of the Bulgarian Presidency for the realization of the priorities of Europe and to become its ambassadors was expressed by the rest of the members of the Board.
The meeting, held at the “Lozenets” Residence in Sofia, was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva, the Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU 2018 Lilyana Pavlova, and the Head of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister Rumyana Bachvarova.