Without any doubt, the biggest success of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union is the Western Balkans. We succeeded in convincing all stakeholders that this is the right direction for the future of the region and that there can be no peace and prosperity on the continent until entire Europe is united. This was said by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov during the presentation of the results of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister stressed that the efforts of our country have attained real results and gave as an example the Sofia Summit from 17 May, which facilitated Athens and Skopje in resolving the name dispute. "This is a historic moment and achievement, and we must all be proud of it - you have also supported us very much. The next big step was taken last week when the Council decided to open the accession negotiations with Macedonia and Albania, "Borissov added. The Prime Minister also highlighted that the Bulgarian Presidency has worked the region's connectivity as a priority. "At the meeting in Sofia we agreed to provide additional funds for connectivity - 11 transport projects, for a digital program in the Balkans, for Energy Connectivity, for young people through Erasmus +," Borissov explained.
The efforts made in the field of internal and external security were among the achievements of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU mentioned by Boyko Borissov. "We have defended the interests of European citizens and tried to be balanced and honest mediators. At the EU-Turkey Summit in Varna on March 26 we sat at a table and talked about all the problems. The issue of refugees and security at the EU's external borders is painful and difficult. But our arrangements with Turkey work and we have zero pressure from there," the Prime Minister said. Borissov also reported success in improving the Schengen Information System, the Visa Code, the Schengen Border Code and interoperability. "We have invested a lot of effort in the reform of the Dublin system (the asylum system), we did not leave a stone unturned, and we managed to gain a lot of support from the European Parliament: 4 out of 6 legislative files are in their final stages, the European Parliament has shown flexibility and has been a key partner, for which I thank you," the Bulgarian Prime Minister said.
According to Boyko Borissov, the common element of all achievements by the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU is that unity between states, institutions and citizens has been attained.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister also announced the European Parliament that Bulgaria will continue to look ahead and work for its full membership in all EU policies - Schengen and the Eurozone. "We have a high economic growth of 4%, an unemployment rate of below 6%, a low external debt below 30%, a significant financial reserve, and virtually zero budget deficit. We have shown that we are a loyal partner and we have shown patience. I believe in diplomacy, not the practice of vetoing, because we all know how it ends," Borissov stressed to members of the European Parliament.