Bulgarian President, Newly Elected MEPs Agree on National Priorities

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | June 9, 2014, Monday // 16:55
Bulgaria: Bulgarian President, Newly Elected MEPs Agree on National Priorities Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev met Monday with the new Bulgarian MEPs. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and the newly elected MEPs have agreed that the country should present its EU Commissioner bid as fast as possible.

Plevneliev met Monday with the new Bulgarian MEPs.

Tomislav Donchev, who was nominated by center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria), informed that Plevneliev and the new MEPs had rejected the proposal of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski for a last-minute presentation of the EU Commissioner nominee.

Donchev, as cited by dnevnik.bg, called on the government to start fighting for a good portfolio as soon as possible.

In end-May, Oresharski said in an interview for the 24 Hours daily that Bulgaria's impact in the EU was not so strong as to allow it to pick its portfolio.

Bulgaria's Prime Minister reasoned that the Bulgarian nominee for EU Commissioner had to be chosen with a view to the distribution of portfolios.

During Monday's meeting with the new MEPs, Plevneliev demanded that the major political formations reach agreement on the principles which would be applied in the selection of the Bulgarian candidate for EU Commissioner in order to avoid unpleasant incidents, according to Iliyana Yotova, a MEP backed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).

The agenda of the meeting included topics like Bulgaria's foreign policy, the country's accession to the Schengen Area, the refugee flows, etc.

Although no special attention was paid to the announcement of the suspension of the South Stream gas pipeline project, Plevneliev was said to have indicated that his support for an EU-compliant gas pipeline had remained unchanged.

The meeting was not attended by Sergey Stanishev, leader of BSP, BSP-backed MEP Georgi Pirinski and GERB-backed MEP Maria Gabriel.

It was agreed that the President and the Bulgarian MEPs would meet at least once a year.

During Monday's meeting, the Bulgarian President explained that he expected political leaders to agree on a date for the early elections.

Plevneliev and the new Bulgarian MEPs agreed on 16 priority tasks for Bulgaria.

The list included overcoming the difficulties surrounding EU funds absorption under the operational programs in the 2007-2013 programming period, the preparation of high-quality projects for the 2014-2020 programming period, work on the long-term development program Bulgaria 2020, the protection of the rights of Bulgarians in the EU, asserting Bulgaria's stance on the policy of expansion, the neighborhood policy and the policies towards the Eastern Partnership countries.

Bulgaria's President emphasized the contribution of Bulgarian MEPs for the European integration of the Western Balkans.

He also drew attention to the efforts to establish Bulgaria as a key factor for achieving greater integration and cohesion on the Balkans.

The MEPs were unanimous in their views on Bulgaria's accession to Schengen and the ongoing Co-operation and Verification Mechanism of the European Commission.

Bulgaria's accession to the ERM II (Exchange Rate Mechanism II) and the eurozone were also cited as national priorities.

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Tags: Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, MEPs, South stream, South Stream gas pipeline project, EU Commissioner, early elections, EU funds, programming period, operational program, Schengen Accession, Schengen Area, Eurozone, ERM II
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