Vice-President Georgieva: Restricting Free Movement of People Will be Harsh Blow to EU
According to European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, restricting the free movement of people in the EU will be a harsh blow to the Union, as it constitutes one of its pillars.
Commenting on the ongoing refugee crisis, Georgieva expressed hope that the EU has the capacity to deal with it.
Having a population of 507 million people and accounting for 20 % of the global economy, the EU has both the financial and human resources to deal with the refugee crisis, she said in an interview for 24 Chasa daily.
According to her, the problem was stemming not from the refugees themselves, but from the short-term vision of each member state to pursue its own salvation.
As regards the forecasts predicting the disintegration of the Union, she reminded of the unfulfilled prophecy on the demise of the euro which had been circulating in the beginning of the global financial crisis.
However Georgieva admitted that the current crisis was more difficult as it concerned not only money.
In her words, the EU had to overcome its fears, demonstrate courage by adopting a long-term vision and work together despite the pressure of critics.
She identified the need for a reliable database on the people entering the territory of the EU as the most important measure in the fight against terrorism.
Georgieva highlighted that until the end of the year the European Commission will make a proposal for creating a common system for guarding the external borders of the Union.
It will have the aim of both distinguishing between refugees and illegal immigrants or terrorists and preventing the restoration of the old borders between the member states.
In her words, compared with developments in the neighbouring countries, Bulgaria was behaving with dignity in the difficult situation facing Europe.
The vice-president reminded that the solution of the Greek crisis came only when European leaders realised its existential nature, which led to them uniting in order to overcome it.
As regards the improvements recorded by Bulgaria in the absorption rate of EU funds, with the country currently ranking second in the EU in this respect, she commented that this factor was not enough for establishing a strong economy.
In her words, an economic growth could be generated through the creation of a strong investment environment, which would attract not only foreign investors to the country, but also direct the money from the banks to the real economy.
According to her, the investment plan for Europe was very suitable for countries like Bulgaria characterised by many savings and few investments.
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