French EU Minister: Bulgaria Is Strategic Regional Partner

Politics » DIPLOMACY | October 26, 2012, Friday // 17:10

Bulgaria is a strategic partner for France in the region of Southeast Europe, French EU Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve declared in Sofia Friday.

Cazeneuve gave a joint news conference after talks with Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov.

"France is an extremely important partner to Bulgaria and of the same mind on a number of issues that are key for the European Union," Mladenov said at a joint news conference with the Minister delegate for European affairs of France, who is visiting Bulgaria, as cited by the press service of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry.

The two ministers outlined their shared vision regarding the EU 2014-2020 budgetary framework, on the road to solving the banking crisis and maintaining the stability of the European currency.

"For us, the Cohesion Policy is one of the main sources of growth for our economy, and it must be defended," Minister Mladenov stated, emphasizing that Bulgaria is an "example" of effective and transparent use of EU funds.

At the meeting, Minister Cazeneuve pointed to the identical positions of Bulgaria and France regarding priorities for the future of the EU and emphasised the "seriousness of the government, which is well-known in Europe". It was for this reason that Bulgaria was France's strategic partner in the region, Minister Cazeneuve said.

The two ministers also discussed the enlargement of the EU to embrace the Western Balkans and Bulgaria's role in this process.

The topic of the future of the region, an issue that is especially important for Bulgaria, will be continued during a visit to Sofia on October 31, 2012, by European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry announced.

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Tags: Bernard Cazeneuve, EU Affairs Minister, France, Nikolay Mladenov, Foreign Minister, Foreign Ministry, cohesion funds, EU
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