President Steinmeier to Prime Minister Borissov: Europe needs Bulgaria

Written by on June 7, 2017 in Europe - Comments Off on President Steinmeier to Prime Minister Borissov: Europe needs Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boiko Borissov arrived in Berlin yesterday. First, he visited Germany’s new President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who used to be Foreign Minister, at the Bellevue Palace.

Steinmeier congratulated Borissov for winning the recent parliamentary election and becoming head of government for the third time. He told his Bulgarian guest, the relations between Bulgaria and Germany should be developed further and deepened.

“Europe needs you and your government, the Balkans need you, Bulgaria needs you”, Steinmeier told Borissov. The Prime Minister replied, he appreciated “the excellent and friendly relationship with Germany”. He said Bulgaria would continue to rely on German experience and valuable support in priority areas. According to Borissov, these include the preparation of the Bulgarian E.U. Presidency as well as border protection, investment and education.

Borissov stated, he was convinced of “the good relations between Bulgaria and Germany, in the spirit of traditional friendship and shared European values”. The latter contributed to the realization of the common goal, which was building a strong, stable, prosperous and united Europe that could meet the expectations of citizens and successfully cope with the challenges.

Today, Borissov will meet Chancellor Angela Merkel. The two heads of government will most likely talk about border protection, migration and Bulgaria’s aspirations regarding the Schengen and the Euro areas.

It is unclear whether the issue of minorities will be a discussion subject. Two parties, which are part of Borissov’s government coalition, have released statements of hate towards the Bulgarian LGBT community. The party VMRO said, the Sofia Pride Parade, which is scheduled to take place this Saturday, was “an assault on traditional Bulgarian values, morality and decency”.

His coalition partner “Ataka” went even further, by saying the Pride Parade and any participation should be criminalised. Germany, on the other hand, supports the Sofia Pride Parade on a regular basis. So far, Borissov has not condemned or commented on his coalition partner’s statements.

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Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com