Speaking at an event on the future of the European Union, Deputy Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU Monika Panayotova underlined that the future development of the European project depends on the will and readiness of the European citizens to strengthen the processes of integration. “For this we need not only the efforts of individual innovators, but also the joint efforts of Member States, of the European institutions, and of the civil society. Otherwise, there will be individuals with ideas who will not have the political and economic ‘muscle’ to make these ideas reality”, she continued.
Deputy Minister Panayotova was addressing an event organised by the Spinelli Group on the topic “All roads lead to Europe? Perspectives for a Federal Union” which took place on 22 February in Sofia. In the focus of the discussion were issues related to education, creating opportunities for young people, regional policy and commitment to the development of European regions, the digital economy and cybersecurity, as well as institutional matters related to the functioning and operation of the European institutions.
“The European Union is an organisation without any equivalent. Therefore, I would like to urge you to search for a new framework for the development of the EU. Defining this new framework resides in scope of the so-called ‘invisible art’ which opens a blank page, a blank canvas and invites the observer to mobilise their imagination and draw their own scenario. I believe that, given the unique character of the EU as a project, we can outline a new model which we can conditionally call ‘evolutionary integration’. It is based on the development of the Union itself, combining both well-known integrational elements and elements arising from the absence of any analogue”,
Deputy Minister Panayotova said further.
She also underscored the importance of citizens’ participation in developing policies, and added that today we witness some strengthening of the integration project, for example with the start of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) on Security and Defence and the efforts on the proposal for establishing a European Defence Industrial Development Programme.
The event was opened by Iliana Yotova, Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria. Elmar Brok, MEP, Georg Georgiev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Evgeni Kirilov, MEP in the period 2007-2014, Andrew Duff, Chairman of the Spinelli Group, Andrey Kovachev, MEP, and Ivailo Kalfin, member of the High-level Group on Own Resources, participated in the discussion.
Established in 2010 at the European Parliament, the Spinelli group brings together MEPs from different political groups who cooperate on constitutional issues that determining the future of the EU.