13 January 2012, 14:00 h, Sheraton Hotel, Sofia
On 13 January 2012, at 14:00 h, at the Sheraton Hotel, in Sofia, Тhe Atlantic Club of Bulgaria and the Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the support of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, organized a public lecture by the Dutch politician Mr. Frans Timmermans, entitled “The EU: Is Our Common Future Just History”.
In his speech, Mr. Timmermans emphasized the differences between European nations and that the EU needed to find balance in the relations between them by peaceful means, avoiding historical prejudices. The Dutch politician expressed the view that European countries should rely on three basic principles to avoid future armed conflicts: formation and development of legal states, respect for fundamental human rights and for existing democratic rules. According to Timmermans, the key aspect in achieving this balance was the improvement of bilateral relations between France and Germany, as well as a focus on the cooperation in achieving common goals and avoiding existing prejudices.
As far as Mr. Timmermans was concerned, the formation of new modern and united Europe after the fall of communism was marked as exaggerated, considering the great expectations for social justice of East Europeans and the hope of Western societies that their neighbors would quickly reach their economic, social and political level.
The Dutch politician pointed out as a disadvantage that in both former camps existed nostalgia for the political regimes before 1989, mainly among people who lived at that time, preferring them to new united Europe.
Mr. Timmermans stated that despite the difficulties in communication, it should be found a suitable tactic to persuade different nations of the advantages of partnership, instead of achieving nationalistic goals.