On the Last Day of Coalition Talks: What did the Parties Agree on?
"These were 18 very intense conversations, for the fourth day in a row, but there was no topic in which we put the Bulgarian interest and didn’t reach a huge agreement. This means that it does not matter whether we are left, center or right. I want to fill all points with real actions and in four years Bulgaria will not look like this ". This was stated by the co-chairman of "We Continue the Change" Kiril Petkov after the end of the last, 18th negotiating topic "International Relations" between the expert groups for drafting a coalition agreement with "BSP for Bulgaria", "There Is Such a People" and "Democratic Bulgaria".
Preservation of Bulgaria's position regarding the Republic of North Macedonia / RNM / and its upgrading in a constructive spirit, agreed the participants in the future coalition.
Bulgaria expects the authorities of the RNM to permanently guarantee the rights of the citizens of the RNM who self-identify as Bulgarians. Regarding the work of the joint commissions provided for in the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation between Bulgaria and the RNM, the participants in the coalition format agreed to meet every month. "We want to make a real calendar of these meetings - at least once a month and really achieve results," said Kiril Petkov.
Confirmation of Bulgaria's Euro-Atlantic integration, integration in the field of justice, energy and healthcare, as well as reform of the European migration and asylum policy, will be among the goals of the Bulgarian foreign policy of a possible coalition government.
A roadmap for our country's accession to the Eurozone, in line with our financial and economic strategy and an effective communication strategy, will also be included in the governance agreement. As well as accession to the Schengen Agreement. Preventing differentiated EU integration "at two speeds" and speeding up work on the adoption and implementation of the Recovery and Sustainability Plan were part of the proposed measures.
Another focus of the talks was the provision of a financially secured policy for the development of relations with neighboring countries.
Preserving the rights of Bulgarians in Britain also united the negotiators, as well as equal relations with Russia, based on the principles of international law, insisting on the return of Bulgarian archives. There will also be a focus on the rights of the Bulgarian community in Ukraine. Review and updating of the law on Bulgarians abroad and updating of the legal framework envisages the future policy of the possible coalition cabinet.
The state agency for Bulgarians abroad to be transformed as a structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs envisages the future management program. A comprehensive analysis and strategic review of the diplomatic service is also needed, the results of which should be discussed in a coalition format. The negotiating parties also agreed on a systematic assessment of the quality of consular services for citizens, the creation of a voluntary register for Bulgarians abroad, the establishment of the Stambolov Fund for financial security of Bulgarians to graduate from elite foreign universities against the commitment then at least five years to work in Bulgaria. Kiril Petkov explained that this financial aid is a grant and as such remains a loan if the student decides to stay in the country.
Among the goals of our foreign policy will be the deepening of relations with the Republic of Korea, Japan, Canada, the Indo-Pacific region. Deepening strategic cooperation with the United States. Mutually beneficial cooperation with China in line with the EU approach. Strengthen dialogue with the Middle East and North Africa. Preservation of good neighborly relations with Turkey, preserving the dignity of our country and respecting human rights. Support for a new agreement between the EU and Turkey on the issue of refugees also brought together negotiators.
Among the priorities is strengthening the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the development of foreign economic relations, ensuring energy security, attracting foreign investment.
Active participation in the OECD membership negotiations until 2023 is also expected to be enshrined in the coalition agreement in the area of foreign policy.
Encouraging the participation of Bulgarians around the world in the electoral process by facilitating and secure voting is also on the agenda. How it will be exactly - whether it will be remote or by mail, is a matter of analysis, said Kiril Petkov. Reviewing and updating the existing law on Bulgarians abroad, as well as assisting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the work of the Ministry of Education and Science in providing assistance to Bulgarian schools abroad, and improving consular services, outsourced consular services and digital services are also priorities. Another focus was on improving the condition and management of properties abroad.
The participants united around the position of restoring the dialogue with Russia, within the EU, and developing equal relations based on the principles of international law.
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