Mr. Prime Minister,
President of the European Parliament, Mr Tajani,
President of the European Council, Mr. Tusk,
President of the European Commission, Mr Juncker,
Members of Parliament,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you all here for the official opening of the first Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU – eleven years after our accession to the Union on the first of January 2007. This is an honor but also a great responsibility for us.
Please allow me to express my confidence that over the coming six months Bulgaria will prove itself a well-prepared, constructive and correct leader for the forthcoming key debates on the future of Europe.
As President of the Bulgarian Parliament I would like to underscore that all of us, members of parliament, are fully aware of the importance of the Parliamentary dimension – a significant and inseparable element of our first Presidency. We have the political will to continue promoting the Bulgarian government in its role as a fair and neutral intermediary between EU member states in achieving concrete results on the strategic European priorities – within the 6-month period of our Presidency, as well as in the context of the 18-month political programme of the Trio Estonia-Bulgaria-Austria.
The Parliamentary dimension of the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU gives us the opportunity for active participation of MPs in the discussions on current topics on the European agenda. We will exchange good institutional practices with all national parliaments in the EU and the European Parliament and we will carry out Parliamentary diplomacy at the highest level. In order for our efforts to bring to success, we count on close cooperation with European institutions and the other member states.
Please allow me to point out that it is precisely on the building of Parliament that our motto, also selected for the Presidency, is written: United We Stand Strong.
The Bulgarian Parliamentary dimension will follow the leading principle of the Presidency for unity and solidarity on the way to future-oriented real/tangible results.
Dear colleagues and guests, I assure you that for the coming months we, the Bulgarian members of Parliament, will promote efficient and intensive inter-Parliamentary cooperation, and we will give our valuable input to the forming of key common European policies.
I truly believe in the success of the first Bulgarian Presidency!