The economic and social recovery from the pandemic through sustainable development and economic stabilization, the enhanced connectivity and improved perspectives for young people will be the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Central European Initiative (CEI) in 2022. This is what Prime Minister Stefan Yanev assured in his statement today as an online participant at the Summit of the Heads of Governments of the CEI Member States. Bulgaria is represented at the forum at top-level by Prime Minister Yanev as the country officially takes over the CEI Presidency from Montenegro.
“We are living in a time of both challenges and opportunities. To address these challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities, we must consolidate our efforts and continue to promote regional cooperation, synergy and integration, upholding our democracies and fundamental values, protecting human rights, also in the context of the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 and the related Sustainable Development Goals,” Prime Minister Stefan Yanev said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that within the Bulgarian CEI Presidency the efforts for the recovery of the region from the pandemic would give special attention to tourism as an important sector to the most of the CEI Member States. “We will utilize the possibilities provided by the regional cooperation and the CEI assets to help the troubled sectors to recover from the crisis and to become more resilient,” Stefan Yanev said. In his words, the Bulgarian Presidency will focus on the possibilities for helping the regulatory framework better account for the challenges the businesses are dealing with. In the context of this priority the Bulgarian Presidency will explore the possibilities provided by CEI’s Know-how Exchange Program to transfer know-how and best practices as a part of the recovery process.
Another priority of the Bulgarian Presidency will be the enhanced connectivity as an important area within the framework of the CEI for facilitating the transit of passengers and goods for the overall economic development of the region. The Bulgarian Presidency will initiate a discussion about the ways to strengthen the cooperation for the infrastructure development, road safety, multimodal transport, border crossings and the tools to improve connectivity, Prime Minister Stefan Yanev noted as he addressed the leaders at the Summit.
“With the clear understanding of the role of young people for the regional integration and the future of our societies, the Bulgarian Presidency will seek to advance the CEI’s Agenda for Youth and the perspectives we provide for them by strengthening the cooperation and expanding the opportunities for education, assessing the issues affecting the region’s youth and youth mobility in the region as instruments for a better regional integration,” Prime Minister Stefan Yanev stressed.
The Prime Minister went on to say that the Bulgarian Presidency will pursue the priorities, as set out by the Trieste Declaration from 2019, and will provide a substantial follow-up to the kick-off meeting organized by the Montenegrin Presidency on 12 November this year for deepening of the CEI’s local dimension.
Prime Minister Stefan Yanev stressed that Bulgaria has been consistently supporting the European perspective of the Western Balkans as a shared strategic interest and choice of the EU and its Western Balkans partners. Bulgaria fully supports enhancing the cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries, based on shared values and standards and is looking forward to the results from the forthcoming Eastern Partnership Summit as an impetus for the cooperative activities within the CEI, Prime Minister Stefan Yanev said further.
Also the Prime Minister said that the forthcoming Bulgarian Presidency will build upon the achievements of Montenegro and will follow the strategic goals embedded in the CEI’s mission. “The Bulgarian Presidency will rely on the well-established multilateral dialog, the solid decision-making process and the proven instruments for cooperation of the Initiative to efficiently transform the political priorities into measurable results,” Prime Minister Stefan Yanev said firmly.