Pnoto: Ministry of Defence
“In order to guarantee its national security, today Bulgaria endeavours to achieve a new quality in building and developing its armed forces, and to gain recognition as an effective and respected ally in NATO and participant in the Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU,”
declared Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister for Public Order and Security and Minister of Defence Krasimir Karakachanov on 31 May 2018, at the opening of the ninth international scientific conference “Research, Innovation and Industrial Cooperation in the Interest of Common European Defence and Security”.
“The policy of the European Union on scientific research and technologies is characterised by clearly defined goals, stable funding, and is provided for in a long-term perspective. It is aimed at building an integrated European research environment in order to achieve lasting and stable economic growth,”
Minister Karakachanov declared. He emphasised that in a national perspective Bulgaria’s European integration opens up opportunities for progress and new successful development, and for new responsibilities for our country, our society and leadership.
“Bulgaria is a part of the Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU, and our country is responsible for the contribution to implementing this policy,”
pointed out the Minister of Defence.
A major priority for the Bulgarian Army is the modernisation of the armed forces by providing new combat equipment aimed at increasing the defiance potential of Land Forces, new multirole fighter aircraft for the Air Force and a new multifunction modular patrol ship for the Navy. Bulgaria’s aim is to build technologically developed, balanced, interoperable, mobile and expeditionary armed forces that meet the requirements of the leading world concepts and standards in the sphere of defence.
“All European citizens want a more secure and stable Europe. In 2016, we adopted the European defence plan. It was last year that we used for the first time the European budget to finance collaborative projects in the sphere of defence. The first step was to conduct preparatory activities in the field of research. It was a small step, but an important one for us because we were able to use financial means from the current European budget,”
pointed out Elzbieta Bienkowska, European Commissioner for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises. She emphasized that EUR 500 million are allocated from the European budget for the European Defence Industry Development Programme (EDIDP) for the period 2018-2020.
“The programme is geared towards joint funding of activities related to the preparatory phase of the Programme on Joint Capacity Building for the member countries”,
said Commissioner Bienkowska.
“We must not only be together in Europe, we must be coherent,”
declared Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency. He emphasized that we have to look for concrete measures and to achieve connectedness and coordination in defence capabilities planning at European level as well as coherence with the respective plans of NATO.
The Deputy Minister of Defence Atanas Zapryanov emphasised the great political effort which the European Union makes to build its own defence capabilities and to achieve strategic autonomy. He also pointed out that this effort requires the integration of the political structures of the EU and of the European industries.
Issues related to scientific research, technologies and industrial cooperation of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme were also discussed at the conference.
The conference was organised by the “Professor Tsvetan Lazarov” Defence Institute and the Hemus’95 Foundation under the patronage of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria. The event is part of the official calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.