Bulgaria’s Consultative Council on National Security re-iterated on February 4 the commitment of all political parties in Parliament to work towards the goals of the Bulgaria 2020 strategy.
The Bulgaria 2020 strategy was drafted in line with the goals of the EU-wide Europe 2020 strategy for “smart, sustainable, inclusive growth”, and had already been endorsed by Bulgaria’s main political parties since 2012.
Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev called a meeting of the consultative council to discuss the strategy and partnership agreement with the European Commission, covering the next multi-annual budget period, between 2014 and 2020.
To that end, the council set four priority areas for EU funds for the next budget period: education and employment, research and innovation, moving towards a low-carbon footprint and sustainable economic development, good governance and access to quality public services (including efficient e-government and judiciary).
In terms of specific actions, the Cabinet was tasked with carrying out a public campaign to inform the public about the goals of the partnership agreement with the EC and present annual reports on the execution of the agreement, the presidency’s media service said.
Unsurprisingly, the participants also agreed that the full utilisation of EU cohesion funds was of “utmost importance for the country’s sustainable economic development” and said that all political parties and state institutions should make joint efforts to achieve that goal.
Equally unsurprising (and vague) was the suggestion that state institutions should “work for the efficient and transparent implementation of the partnership agreement, by maintaining and building up the required capacity.”
The council’s conclusions were approved unanimously, but ultra-nationalist Ataka leader Volen Siderov had a separate opinion, the presidency’s statement said. After the meeting, Siderov said that the stated goals of the council resolution could not be achieved “without breaking Bulgaria’s colonial model” – a re-iteration of his narrative that foreign-owned major companies in Bulgaria are “exploiting” the country and should be nationalised.
Speaking to reporters before the council meeting, Siderov also said that his party would soon table a proposal asking Parliament to unfreeze the Belene nuclear power plant project, shelved in 2012 by the country’s previous government.