Ambassador Ivan Kondov during his speech./ Photos: @UEmadrid
Eduardo González. 12/01/2018
Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Spain, Ivan Kondov, represented the start of the biannual presidency of the Council of the EU yesterday by raising his country’s flag before the headquarters of the European institutions in Madrid, in an event in which he expressed Sofia’s commitment to move towards a “strong and united Europe”.
“Only by being united can we stay strong”, Ivan Kondov declared during the ceremony, which was attended by a top representation of ambassadors of countries of the EU accredited in Spain.
During his speech, the ambassador affirmed that Bulgaria will make an effort “in those matters concerning all the citizens, such as employment, security, border protection and digital capacities”, as “the four big priorities of the Bulgarian presidency” reflect.
One of the priorities, he explained, is “Europe’s future and the youth”, through the promotion of the “economic growth and social cohesion”, and focusing on the long-term financial framework subsequent to 2020 (which will be presented in May by the European Commission), on the Common Agricultural Policy (PAC in its Spanish acronym) and the Economic and Monetary Union.
Kondov presided over Bulgarian flag raising before the EU’s institutions headquarters in Madrid
The other priorities are security and stability “in a strong and united Europe”, the “European perspective and connectivity for the Western Balkans” and the future of the digital Europe.
For his part, Estonia’s Ambassador, Rasmus Lumi, affirmed that his country has been able to achieve “90% of the objectives” set during its recently concluded presidency of the EU, with special mention of the agreement on displaced workers, the Permanent Structured Cooperation of the EU (PESCO) and the advances relating to the Paris agreements.
In the same event, the secretary of State for European Affairs, Jorge Toledo, affirmed that “in Europe, the sun is coming out after years of storms” and he declared that the main challenges the Union will be facing in 2018 are the long-term financial framework, the refugee and immigrant crises (“which have come to stay”) and the Brexit, “a challenge for the Bulgarian presidency, which will have to determine the second stage of negotiations”.
For her part, the director of the Representation of the European Commission in Spain, Aránzazu Beristain, declared that Bulgaria gets to the presidency with “an ambitious programme” intending to “move towards a stronger and more democratic political union that solves the everyday problems of the citizens”.