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Bulgarian report Bulgarian report
by Euro Reporter
2010-11-28 10:00:13
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Bulgaria to focus on partnership with neighbouring countries

Bulgaria will focus on the joint partnership with neighbouring countries because the European Union has always tolerated the joint projects for prevention and early notification when there is integrated approach towards the problems, Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said at the EVROS 2010 international conference.

Over the last month the Bulgarian government signed a cross-border cooperation agreement with Romania worth EUR 6 million – EUR 7 million and the money will be spent on buying new fire trucks, uniforms and equipment for the Bulgarian firemen, the minister informed, adding that other 42 fire trucks will be purchased for the Bulgarian fire departments under the Regional Development OP.
Minister Tsvetanov also remarked that Bulgaria is very proud that this portfolio has been given to the Bulgarian Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.


Bulgaria attack European Union over crisis

Bulgaria’s finance chief has lashed out at European institutions for failing to prevent the catastrophic eurozone crisis. Speaking to the world’s media, Simeon Djankov explained how he has recently been in talks to create new supervisory bodies. However, he did add that no one as of yet had dared to pose questions about what has happened to the institutions currently set up in place.

Despite this admission, Mr Djankov was set on making it clear that his native Bulgaria, which only joined the European Union back in 2007, was still intent on joining the euro, explaining that it can only survive if strong institutions are installed to prevent similar crises to the ones that have occurred in Greece and then Ireland. He added that the approach that is currently adopted of setting up supervisory bodies for, insurance firms, banking and other sectors is entirely missing the point, and that he was surprised that no one was prepared to ask questions as to why recent problems have not been handled effectively. He also rushed to criticise Eurostat, the EU’s official statistics body, by asking whether or not they knew about Greece and Ireland’s problems before letting their troubles escalate to such dangerous levels that have shaken the continent as whole, suggesting that they had not even bothered to do the work that they should have done.

In the last week, the future of the almost-ruined eurozone has been repeatedly questioned after Ireland became the second of its members after Greece to appeal for a bail-out. In the background, Spain and Portugal also seem deeply threatened and rumours are rife that they too might have to request emergency aid.


Bulgaria’s Schengen accession Is like a round in boxing match

In a few days the European Commission will make its final, seventh in a row, assessment of Bulgaria’s readiness to join the Schengen area. Five of the inspection missions took place in 2009 and the sixth one, concerning land borders security, took place in March 2010. The seventh review beginning in two weeks will test Bulgarian border administration’s knowledge and understanding of the Schengen information system. If everything goes well, Sofia and Bucharest will file a common bid for Schengen accession, provided they complete successfully the EU’s mechanism for participation and verification. This condition was set last Saturday by France’s President Nicola Sarkozy during the Lisbon summit. In other words, Sofia and Bucharest may be green lighted for Schengen after the interim report of the European Commission in February 2011 or after the annual one next summer.

The adoption of the EU budget is to face complicated negotiations. Some EU member states like France will enter pre-election periods. Bulgaria will also hold local and presidential elections quite decisive for the ruling GERB cabinet. Bearing in mind the global crisis which persists in most of the countries, the Schengen sift  for newcomers will be very fine, not to mention the open unwillingness of some influential European countries like the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, not only France and Germany. The possible Schengen failure of the current Bulgaria’s cabinet will be a serious political lever not only for the opposition but for some small political parties that now support the cabinet. In case Bulgaria’s Schengen accession next year is delayed for an uncertain period of time, this will be a foreign policy knockdown for Bulgaria’s cabinet.

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