Mr Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister, Ms Ekaterina Zaharieva, Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr Rumen Porodzanov, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry spoke about the Bulgarian Presidency priorities in the areas of regional development, development and fisheries before three European Parliament committees Regional Development (REGI), Development (DEVE) and Fisherires (PECH). Their interventions took place in the context of the traditional exchanges of view between the European Parliament and the incoming Council Presidency.
Presentation before REGI
Mr Donchev said: „If 10 years ago we were aiming to outrun our global competitors, nowadays the EU often looks more like a crisis headquarters, which is in the quest to tackle every new problem. It is clear that we need to allocate funds to meet the new challenges but on the other hand we need to continue the convergence efforts between the European regions because the EU will only go stronger if we have the same standard of living for all citizens from Helsinki to Athens and from Lisbon to Varna”.
In his presentation, Mr Donchev stressed on the fact that the efforts to achieve convergence between the European regions must continue. Once again, he expressed Bulgaria’s firm conviction that a clear European perspective for the Western Balkans is needed.
In his intervention, Mr Donchev also analysed the challenges ahead of the Union. He said that although Brexit would force Europe to achieve 'more with less', the debate on budgets, tools and programmes should not take place without setting up long-term goals ahead of the Union. According to him, the main task for Bulgaria in the next six months will be to steer a comprehensive debate on how to maintain EU’s key policies while responding to challenges.
The full statement by Mr Donchev is available here.
Presentation before DEVE
Ms Zaharieva said: „The Bulgarian Presidency wants to address fundamental issues which are affecting the current high volume of humanitarian crises and seek to use our resources as effectively and efficiently as possible. We also want to work together on using innovative ideas to generate more help for people in need from our current resources.“
In the area of development, Bulgaria will:
- Work to see increasingly well-coordinated use of the EU's collective humanitarian, development and diplomatic capabilities to address the root causes of conflict.
- Encourage EU actors to reflect together on what they can do differently to increase the coherence, efficiency and effectiveness of the EU’s collective resources.
- In connection with the initiatives around cash, the Presidency will aim to consider innovative mobile and digital systems.
- Seek to explore options to improve the EU response to both man-made humanitarian crises and natural disasters.
- Promote the provision of quality education in humanitarian emergencies, which can help prevent, reduce and mitigate dangerous gaps in children's development.
- Continue to work for an adequate collective response to prevent and mitigate hunger and malnutrition.
The full statement by Ms Zaharieva is available here.
Presentation before PECH
Mr Porodzanov said: “Our actions during the Bulgarian Presidency will be focused on the sustainable management of European fisheries in a balanced way to ensure maximum conservation of stocks and, at the same time, the viability of the sector under current conditions.”
In the area of fisheries, Bulgaria will:
- Strive to make real progress in the negotiations on the Proposal for a Regulation on the conservation of fish stocks and marine ecosystems through technical measures.
- Work on the Multi-annual management plans as a fundamental building block of the Common Fisheries Policy.
- Enable discussions on the external dimension of the EU Common Fisheries Policy.
- Facilitate a debate on the forthcoming proposal to amend EU’s control regulation, a set of rules which have helped improve the EU fisheries control system.
The full statement by Mr Porodzanov is available here.
Earlier today, three other Bulgarian Ministers - Mr Vladislav Goranov, Minister of Finance, Mr Biser Petkov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy and Mr Neno Dimov, Minister for the Environment and Water – also made presentations of the Presidency priorities before Members of the European Parliament. They spoke about the work Bulgaria will do in the areas of financial and monetary affairs, social and environmental policy before representatives of the Committees on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).
More information is available here.
The presentations of the Presidency priorities before the European Parliament committees will finish with Mr Kiril Ananiev, Minister for Health, who will speak before representatives of the ENVI committee on 25 January. The detailed schedule of the ministers’ interventions is available online.