Prime Minister Stefan Yanev had a meeting with H. E. Mr. Anžej Frangeš, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the Republic of Bulgaria. The discussion focused on bilateral relations and issues on the European agenda in the context of the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union that started on 1 July 2021.
A presentation was made and a discussion was held about the objectives of the Presidency towards the resilience and the recovery of the European Union, organizing and conducting major events within the Conference on the Future of Europe, the trend towards the European lifestyle, the rule of law and the guaranteed equality for all. Emphasis was placed on the EU as a reliable and safe union that is able to guarantee security and stability in the neighborhood. In this context, prominence was given to the key role of trans-Atlantic cooperation and the prospects for the development of the Western Balkan countries.
Prime Minister Yanev welcomed the Slovenian Presidency’s ambitious agenda and stressed the importance of the defined priorities.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister singled out the importance of the issue of the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) as he indicated the time horizon for the completion of our national plan and the tools of its presentation and implementation. Special attention was given to the need of a full-fledged debate within the framework of the upcoming public discussion of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and to the role of Parliament as a key factor to ensure broad support for and legitimacy of the Plan’s targets.
Regarding the Slovenian Presidency’s second main priority, the Conference on the Future of Europe, Prime Minister Yanev drew attention to the key role of the debate concerning it and suggested specific points that could be included in it. Here the Prime Minister urged to think more about how to bring back politics to politics. He underscored the key importance of civil society for the policymaking and conveyed a message that what politics needs is politicians, not bureaucrats.
During the meeting, special attention was given to the role and importance of the upcoming parliamentary election in Bulgaria, as well as to the prospects for the progress of the domestic political situation subsequently. Prime Minister Stefan Yanev noted that every effort is made to make sure that the voting is fair and authentic and pointed out the opportunity for the Bulgarian electorate to vote freely in accordance with their preferences. Bulgaria’s Prime Minister commented the potentially complicated situation in the context of the expected highly fragmented parliament and tough talks between the political parties about the formation of a cabinet. Stefan Yanev stressed his hope for democracy to prevail ultimately.
Regarding the EU enlargement, the Prime Minister and the Ambassador discussed the European horizon for the Republic of North Macedonia and the challenges arising therefrom. Stefan Yanev reiterated Bulgaria’s position and support in principle for the European perspective for the Republic of North Macedonia and Albania while he highlighted the need for a more productive dialog and genuine will to settle the controversies between Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia. Emphasis was placed on the requirement that all commitments made in the bilateral agreement be met and that real action be taken to protect human rights and to end the hate speech. The feeling was expressed that our European partners are rather taking sides as they tolerate the Republic of North Macedonia and, respectively, blame Bulgaria without any real and cogent reasons. Stefan Yanev noted that in his capacity of Prime Minister, he tries to act as a politician and not as a bureaucrat and in this sense, the main priority is to put forth and protect, to the maximum extent, the national interest of the Republic of Bulgaria.
At the close of the discussion, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister wished success to the Slovenian Presidency and stressed that he is eager to engage in open and honest dialog and that he counts on a reciprocal attitude.