Minister Mitov presented the priorities of Bulgarian SEECP Chairmanship-in-Office to the diplomatic corps10 September 2015 News
Minister Daniel Mitov presented the programme and priorities of the Bulgarian Chairmanship-in-Office of the South-East European Cooperation Process (July 2015 – June 2016) at a meeting with the representatives of the diplomatic corps. The discussion was held on the 10 September 2015 at a specially organized briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The SEECP is a leading format for cooperation in the region and within its 20-year history, the Process has proven itself as an effective and beneficial mechanism providing security and stability in Southeastern Europe,” said Minister Mitov. “Under the motto “SEECP – A Key to Regional Cooperation Over the Past 20 Years”, the Bulgarian Chairmanship-in-Office will focus its efforts on three main priority areas of regional cooperation – energy and infrastructural connectivity, media freedom and freedom of expression, migration and tackling the refugee flow,” pointed out Minister Mitov. He noted that the principles embedded in the SEECP Charter and the principles of continuity in the Chairmanships’ priorities are essential for Bulgaria.
In his statement, Minister Mitov focused on each of the presented priorities. Regarding the energy and infrastructural connectivity, he pointed out that this area is of particular interest and has added value for the competitiveness and economic growth of the region, which in turn encourages sectoral cooperation in a number of other fields of interest. “By including media freedom and freedom of expression in the main priorities, we will aim at establishing a sustainable and independent media environment and free access to diverse information,”added Bulgaria’s top diplomat.
“Considering the existing military conflicts in immediate vicinity to our region, the Bulgarian Chairmanship-in-Office has already held consultations with the Secretariat of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) to establish a regional platform for cooperation in the fight against terrorism,” commented Minister Mitov.
“Our country will continue its efforts in a number of other fields of cooperation, such as youth, culture and tourism, environmental protection, organic agriculture, security, and fight against organized crime. As an EU Member State, Bulgaria will continue the synergy between the SEECP Troika, the RCC Secretariat, and the European Union with regular consultations, the first of which will be held in December 2015,” he said.
Minister Mitov also discussed the SEECP’s parliamentary dimension, the catalyst of which is namely Bulgaria. “The National Assembly of our country will aim its efforts towards the successful presentation of Sofia’s candidacy for the seat of the Permanent Secretariat of the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly,” Daniel Mitov stated.
During the discussion, the Ambassadors focused on issues related to migration and refugee flows. The Foreign Minister emphasized the need for urgent measures to swiftly resolve the problems in the Middle East and North Africa. “Bulgaria’s position holds that we should deal with the problem of the so-called Islamic State as soon as possible,” he said, adding that a firm and clear, common European policy based on the principle of solidarity is needed. He noted that accelerating the processes of readmission is of essential importance, alongside with the revision of the Dublin Regulation. According to Minister Mitov, there is a particular need to aid countries that shelter large number of migrants.
“SEECP not only brings the countries of the region together, but it also guarantees their stability and territorial integrity. The European perspective does not pose barriers, it removes borders. Exactly this is what the Western Balkan countries need” – Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister stated.
The Calendar of Events of the Bulgarian SEECP Chairmanship includes more than 40 events jointly organized with the Diplomatic Institute, the State Institute for Culture, relevant ministries, Sofia Municipality, the National Assembly, and the RCC Secretariat.
A special website located on the main page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with a Facebook page of the Chairmanship-in-Office will provide updated information for the upcoming SEECP events.