EU during the Danish Presidency and Where Bulgaria Is

(January 10th, 2012, 11:00 a.m., Radisson Hotel, Sofia)

The Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, as a partner of the Paneuropean Union - Bulgaria and with the support of „Open Society” Institute - Sofia and the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, organized a discussion, entitled “EU during the Danish Presidency and Where Bulgaria Is”.

The President of the Paneuropean Union - Bulgaria - Mrs. Gergana Passy, began the discussion and expressed her best wishes to Kaare Janson the forthcoming Presidency of Denmark to be just as successful as the previous one in 2002 when Bulgaria was given a final date to join the EU (01/01/2007).

According to His Excellency Mr. Kaare Janson, there are four major priorities for his country - to make Europe а more reliable, more dynamic, greener and safer place to live in. The issue of the economic and the fiscal solutions addresses the urgent need to make Europe more responsible for its citizens baring in mind the fact that when real crisis management of the euro or debt crisis are mentioned - no rotating presidency, no matter if presented by a country in the eurozone or not, can successfully perform actions to cope with them. During the next six months Copenhagen is going to inspire partnership which will be able to improve the European environmental standards and to reach considerable progress in the negotiations about the EU’s budget. This is Denmark’s seventh Presidency which means it will be useful and competent in the current critical for the EU times.

Except the security, economics and energy issues, the enlargement of the EU is also among Denmark’s priorities in the following six months. Negotiations to join the EU are going to be conducted with Iceland, Turkey and most probably with the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. It will also be discussed whether Monte Negro is ready to join the EU and if it is reasonable to give Serbia candidate status.

Later on the Minister of Justice Diana Kovacheva expressed her hope that Bulgaria would be a member of Shengen in the near future. She added that the next six months are going to be challenging for both His Excellency Mr. Janson and for her. What is more, she said that this was a new start for both of them and they would need support. Ms Kovacheva specified that in the end of these six months a report of high importance for Bulgaria was expected - the report on the mechanism for cooperation and assessment and analysis of Bulgaria’s progress during the last five years. She also stated that she will work hard Bulgaria to have really good results. According to her, the Denmark’s priorities are going to make us part of various activities which will help to make Europe a reliable, dynamic, green and safe place. Minister Kovatcheva commented that these priorities will definitely modernize Europe and make it more favorable to its citizens. She also announced that Bulgaria could contribute a lot to fulfill these aims and its efforts would synchronize with the policies of the EU. The Bulgarian Minister of Justice draw attention to the presumption that the Danish emphasis on safety most probably would be based on serious attempts to decrease international crime, terrorism as well as to increase the level of efficiency within Schengen. She also expressed her hope that with the support of the Danish presidency Bulgaria could join Schengen in the first six months of this year.

The event was attended by many diplomats, representatives from the business circles, students, citizens and raised huge social interest and enjoyed wide media coverage.