'Bulgaria Missed a Brilliant Foreign Policy Opportunity'

Views on BG | September 1, 2015, Tuesday // 07:58
Bulgaria: 'Bulgaria Missed a Brilliant Foreign Policy Opportunity' Instead of putting forward dialogue options, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov (pictured) has already made some comments on the migrants crisis which resemble those of Hungarian authorities to address the issue. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria should have called a regional summit to tackle the migrant crisis, instead of mobilizing the army to guard its borders, a recent analysis reads on the EUInside.

It says the former option would have helped see what is most needed by countries affected by the influx of migrants such as Serbia, Macedonia and Greece.

"Bulgaria missed a brilliant foreign policy opportunity to position itself as a constructive player, or a player at all, in the Western Balkans region that  would have given substance to what had been repeated for years – the region being important to Sofia," the opinion piece begins.

It also describes Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov's statements on the issue as "very similar" to the ones of Hungary's government.

Sofia could have both scored points on the European level "by setting an example" and to come up with a proposal for a "community solution to the problem". It, however, did none and "managed to kill two birds with one stone."

Bulgaria was also absent from the 2015 Western Balkans Summit in Vienna, which what the continuation of what is called here "the Berlin Process" - a conference of Western Balkan heads of state called by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. With countries beyond the region (such as France and Italy) having joined the process this year, "Bulgaria's absence in Vienna did not go unnoticed".

Referring to a statement by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz at the Vienna Summit, the author notes that EU members such as Bulgaria and Hungary "are protecting themselves from refugees by redirecting themselves towards other member states like Croatia and Romania."

"We want to have pro-active foreign policy in the Balkans, claim we are ready to aid these states in their way towards the EU, but we slam and bolt the door at the first sign of danger," the author warns just before ending.

Read the full text here.

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Tags: 2015 Western Balkans Summit, Croatia, Serbia, Western Balkans, Angela Merkel, Daniel Mitov, Bulgaria, migrants
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