Lilyana Pavlova: Bulgaria takes the helm of the EU in rough seas with a host of challenges

Photo: BTA

On the day of the official launch of the Bulgarian Presidency, Lilyana Pavlova, Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU gave an exclusive interview for Radio Bulgaria:

Minister Pavlova called the date 11 January historic: “What makes it a historic date is that 11 years after the country joined the EU, something that had been a dream and a cause for all Bulgarians, we now have the opportunity of taking the helm of the presidency of the ship called EU, and of the big European family in rough seas with a host of challenges. The most important tasks are in several directions, and top of the list is the security and stability of Europe. It is a task that passes through reaching accord on how to consolidate the external borders, the question of migrant relocation and how to work in this process more efficiently. The future of Europe, the future of the European budget – there are many topics that are upcoming in the days to come.”

The European Union’s motto is United in Diversity. In Minister Pavlova’s words, Bulgaria can be a model of tolerance in the region: “Bulgaria and we, from the Borissov cabinet have been working in the spirit and conveying a message of ethnic and religious tolerance for a third term of office. And I think we have demonstrated this many a time. We have been endeavouring to show, directly and indirectly, that being a country at a crossroads between East and West, Bulgaria is a country with traditions, with religious and cultural communities living together in friendship, good nehgbourhood and tolerance. This is our message to the Western Balkans – the only way to attain unity, to live together is tolerance.”

During the six months of its presidency, Bulgaria will be visited by thousands of guests who know nothing about the country.

“The country is a gem that has to be revealed, a country with a rich history and culture, but also wonderful people. Bulgaria is also an excellent place to invest. So we are presenting Bulgaria as a tourist destination, a country to invest in, but also as a reliable and stable partner in the Balkans and also for our European partners,” says in conclusion Lilyana Pavlova, Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

English version: Milena Daynova
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