“You should keep in mind that Bulgarian legal thought is at the basis of a number of European initiatives: thus, Bulgaria was one of the three Member States that initiated the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. Therefore, let us have a well-deserved self-confidence and outline possible ways of contributing to the common European legal system.”
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva addressed these words to the participants in a conference on “Implementation of EU Law in Bulgaria in the 2007-2017 Period”, which took place in Sofia. The event was organised by the Supreme Bar Council and the Bulgarian Association for European Law on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria’s accession to the EU. The President of the Court of Justice of the European Union Koen Lenaerts was a guest at the conference.
“This year we mark our first ten years in the EU but also 60 years since the signature of the Treaty of Rome. Let us recall the road we covered from Rome to Lisbon, from the dream of a few to the future of many,” Minister Zaharieva said. “I wish we could remember that this is not just a union about steel, about funds, about bureaucracy, but about peace, law and fundamental freedoms. This is the most democratic union. In it, no financial interest overrides the rule of law,” she added.
Minister Zaharieva is optimistic about the future of the EU “because the Union always emerges stronger after crises.” To make this happen yet again, Bulgaria will be backing the change in decision-making in the Union. “We must do this together and united, because this is the only way to meet the challenges,” she went on to say.
“The European Union is everything that brings us together,” said the keynote speaker at the conference, the President of the Court of Justice of the European Union Koen Lenaerts.
“I am opening my lecture with an apology,” Lenaerts noted. “I don’t speak Bulgarian. My native language is Dutch. I am a Flemish Belgian. Today, however, I am speaking to you in English as a citizen of Europe.” According to the President of the EU Court of Justice, the fact that everybody in the European family talk like equals and respect each other is the real achievement for Europe 60 years after the inception of what is now the EU. “I am therefore particularly happy that I am now joining you to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria’s entry in the Union,” he added.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov sent a greetings address to the participants.