President Pahor and Bulgarian President Radev for a more connected Europe
Sofija, 26. 3. 2018 | press release
At the invitation of the President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is on an official visit to the Republic of Bulgaria.
After attending a state reception with military honours in Alexander Nevsky Square, President Pahor laid a wreath on the Monument to an Unknown Soldier. President Pahor and President Radev later held a private meeting, which was followed by plenary discussions between the delegations of the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Bulgaria led by both presidents.
During their discussion, the presidents confirmed excellent bilateral cooperation, which is strengthening from year to year; the countries are linked through their heritage of Slavic culture and an array of common interests in the broader region, with the emphasis on supporting the process of stabilisation and European integration of South-Eastern European countries.
President Pahor and President Radev discussed bilateral political and economic cooperation. Bulgaria is currently presiding over the Council of the European Union, so special emphasis was given to exchanging views on European topics. President Pahor stressed the position of the Republic of Slovenia, which advocates a solid, closely connected and unified EU. Slovenia’s goal is to remain firmly positioned in the most connected segment of European integration.
The presidents paid most attention to exchanging views on the situation in the neighbouring region of the Western Balkans, which is one of the priorities of the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union and the topic of a summit to be held in Sofia in May. The presidents assessed conditions and mutual relations in the region and the dynamics of regional cooperation, and exchanged views on the European perspective of countries in the Western Balkans in the context of the enlargement strategy recently published by the European Commission. They agreed that countries must ensure the credibility of the reform process, in particular with reforms concerning the rule of law and by establishing institutions that are essential for comprehensive progress. On this occasion, President Pahor warned of the importance of observing and implementing adopted agreements, and he also informed the Bulgarian President of his expectations regarding the coming meeting of leaders of the Brdo Brijuni Process, which will be held in Skopje on 27 and 28 April and will also be attended by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
The Presidents also discussed the migrant crisis, to which Europe is still unable to find a common response. Bulgaria is an important link in the fight against illegal migration and is successfully combating this problem. Regarding migration, Slovenia supports a common response and common EU policies, and it is monitoring conditions on the Western Balkan migration route.
The presidents also discussed other current international issues.
The President of the Republic of Slovenia continued his state visit by visiting the parliament, where he met the Vice President of the Bulgarian parliament, Yavor Notev, and the Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, Gemma Grozdanova. The President of the Republic of Slovenia concluded his state visit with a state lunch hosted in his honour by the Bulgarian President.
On his state visit to Bulgaria, the President was accompanied by the Minister of Infrastructure, Peter Gašperšič, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iztok Mirošič, and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Eva Štravs Podlogar.
Photo: Daniel Novaković
Photo: Daniel Novaković