President Rosen Plevneliev delivered a speech at the United Nations conference on sustainable development Rio + 20. At the forum the head of state expounded Bulgaria’s experience in sustainable development.
In his speech Rosen Plevneliev highlighted Bulgaria’s success in achieving good macroeconomic results. He pointed out that in the context of the crisis Bulgaria has been the only country in Europe given a higher credit rating. In latest figures from the European Central Bank the long-term interest rate in Bulgaria in April and May 2012 was 5.11%, lower than in 12 EU countries seven of which are part of the Eurozone. In March Bulgaria registered an inflation rate of 2.7%, lower than the Eorozone margin of 3.1%. Bulgaria’s budget deficit stands at 2.1% or GDP against a Eurozone margin at 3%. Bulgaria’s foreign debt stands at 16.3%. Under this criterion Bulgaria ranks second in the European Union after Estonia.
President Plevneliev said that good results had derived from the policy of stability and fiscal discipline conducted by a row of Bulgarian governments. With this statement he has become one among few Bulgarian political leaders ready to recognize the successes of former governments.
In his speech given at the Rio + 20 forum, the Bulgarian president said that economic growth should go hand in hand with progress in environmental protection. Bringing his arguments, he said that some countries see growth but fail to see progress, and that in other countries growth comes at the expense of future generations. Young people should become active in decision-making that has to do with long-term policies and commitments, President Plevneliev believes.
At the sustainable development conference in Rio de Janeiro the Bulgarian president subscribed to the thesis that when reporting about economic growth it is important to account for its quality, rather than for its quantity alone. Being good is more important than being big. Fact is that better educated, more productive and more competitive nations are more prosperous, he explained. The president accentuated his view that economized energy is the cheapest energy meaning that energy efficiency is top priority. He told the forum that a national energy efficiency program had already been launched in Bulgaria.
From the rostrum of the conference in Rio de Janeiro, Rosen Plevneliev called for urgent changes in policies, economic models, social conduct and even lifestyles, and spoke up about a better and more effective role of the United Nations in the coordination, control and revision of the implementation of resolutions and policies linked to sustainable development.
Translated by Daniela Konstantinova