Spanish Ambassador to Bulgaria D. Francisco Javier PÉREZ-GRIFFO Y DE VIDES: Spain support Bulgaria's accession to Schengen area
Exclusive interview of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) with His Excellency,Mr. D. Francisco Javier PÉREZ-GRIFFO Y DE VIDES, Ambassador of Spain to Bulgaria.
Mr. D. Francisco Javier PÉREZ-GRIFFO Y DE VIDES
Date and place of birth: 22.01.1949, Madrid (Madrid)
Education: Higher law education
Date of entering the diplomatic career: 06.03.1978.
Present Category: Minister Plenipotentiary First Category
CAREER / PROFESSIONAL ROUTE
22.01.2014 Minister Plenipotentiary First Category
01.08.2013 Consul General of Spain in Rome
21.07.2011 Deputy General Director of the "General Inspection of Facilities"
20.04.2006 Consul General of Spain in Porto
26.10.2001 Ambassador of Spain to the Republic of Namibia
16.04.1993 Adviser to the United Nations Permanent Representation to the United Nations, New York
Commander of the Civil Service Order (24.06.1987)
Commander (05.12.1992), Officer (05.01.1984) and Cavalier (05.01.1980) of the Order of Isabel Catholic
Cavalier First Grade of the Order of Daneborg, Denmark
Order of Francisco Miranda, second degree, Venezuela
Born January 22, 1949. in Madrid, graduate Law School. He began his diplomatic career in 1978. He is appointed to the Spanish diplomatic representations in Iran, Denmark, Venezuela, the United Nations, Portugal and Italy. He was Director-General of the Training and Consular Planning Division, Deputy Director General for Legal Affairs of the Directorate-General for European Legal and Institutional Coordination and Deputy Permanent Representative in the Convention on Armed Forces in Europe, and Confidence and Security Measures. He was an adviser to the Directorate General for Foreign Policy for Europe, an advisor to the Cabinet of the Minister, Ambassador to Namibia, and an Inspector General of the General Inspectorate for Services. Married, with three children.
1. What do you expect from the Bulgarian EU Presidency?Chairing the Council of the European Unión is always a privilege, but being the first presidency for Bulgaria, it’s an even greater honour and responsibility, as well as an outstanding opportunity. For example, in those 6 months Bulgaria can introduce specific issues in the European agenda that are important for the country and for Europe. Also, Bulgaria has the chance to present itself as a modern, efficient and reliable state, capable of promoting the needed consensus in order to tackle the important issues of the day: Brexit, future financial perspectives, external threats and immigration.
2. What do you believe should be the key areas of focus during the Presidency? Integration of Western Balkans, Cyber security? Or something else...? All of them are equally important and transcendent for the EU’s agenda. Bulgaria has shown a great interest in the Western Balkans issue, and as Presidency it can make an impact in other key elements for the future of Europe, like the digital agenda.
3. Do you think Bulgaria is ready to join Schengen and what would be the consequences of such an action in your opinion? Spain supported Bulgaria in its EU and NATO accession, and wesupport its accession to Schengen as well. Both Spain and Bulgaria share EU external borders, so there is a common sensibility towards this issue. Spain shares your Prime Minister view on a common EU policy towards this matter.
4. How do you find life in Bulgaria? For example, do you feel safe from terrorist threats? As you are well aware of, the terrorist threat is a global phenomenon, which, alas, has also hit Bulgaria. There is no hiding from it and we Spaniards have had a long and unfortunate experience. However, my impression is that Bulgaria is a very safe country to live in. It is definitely a place that I would recommend to a colleague of mine. Bulgaria has it all: mountains, forests, sea… and everything is easily accessible in a few hours. This is a great country with incredible possibilities. Of course, let’s not forget the hospitality and kindness of the Bulgarian people who have captivated the best qualities of the many civilizations that have passed through these lands.
5. How do you feel about the relations of your country with Bulgaria? And is there anything specific you would like to be achieved in means of cooperation during the Bulgarian EU Presidency? Bilateral relations are on an outstanding level, Bulgaria has a community of around 320.000 residents in Spain, all of them very well integrated. Of course, there is always room for improvement, for example, we actively work for more economic activity in the bilateral relationship.
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