Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Georg Georgiev today received Stéphane Dion, Special Envoy of Canada to the European Union and Canadian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. The two discussed the challenges facing the Union, Bulgaria’s record of success as holder of the rotating Presidency, and the opportunities for deepening bilateral relations in all areas of shared interest.
“Bulgaria has achieved really good results by organising and hosting the EU-Western Balkans Summit. Our country is very well aware of what those six countries must go through in order to achieve their European integration. We have built up ample expertise and are ready to keep helping our friends in the region but, ultimately, they have to fulfil the necessary criteria on their own,” Georgiev said during the meeting.
The Deputy Minister emphasised that the Bulgarian Government is seeking, among other things, to show the people of the Western Balkans what it means to be part of the EU and the benefits that this membership entails. “When young people see for themselves the opportunities and advantages that the European Union makes available to them, they will themselves wish to stay in their own countries,” Georg Georgiev added.
Stéphane Dion congratulated Bulgaria on the efforts it is making as holder of the EU Council Presidency. He stressed that Canada and the Union share common challenges as well as common problems, which is why it is important for them to look for common solutions. “In Canada you have a reliable partner. We support the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries,” Dion added.
The Canadian diplomat pointed out further on that after the signing of the trade agreement between his country and the European Union a number of Canadian companies have expressed interest in investing in Bulgaria.