To attract investors and not oligarchs, legal certainty is essential, Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev said in a special address to Parliament on March 19.
Plevneliev was addressing members of the National Assembly after the conclusion of what has become his traditional “month of political consultations”, individual meetings with all representatives of all parliamentary groups.
The 2015 round was attended by almost all – with far-right ultra-nationalists Ataka absenting themselves from the talks with Plevneliev, and the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party sending only lightweights.
Plevneliev’s discussions with the parties and coalitions covered five main themes – key reforms to be carried out this year, electoral legislation, international security, defence and the armed forces, and dealing with crises and natural disasters.
In his 25-minute speech, Plevneliev, head of state since January 2012, reiterated his belief that all-party consensus on vital national issues was possible. The political consultations at the beginning of this year had shown that there was potential to achieve political agreement, he said.
He pledged that citizens’ confidence in Bulgaria’s institutions would be strengthened, saying that the period of confrontation was a thing of the past.
In the time that Plevneliev has been President, he twice has had to appoint caretaker cabinets after ahead-of-term resignations of two successive governments. Bulgaria saw particularly profound political turbulence at the time of the 2013/14 Bulgarian Socialist Party-Movement for Rights and Freedoms ruling axis, which was widely rejected amid large-scale public protests.
Plevneliev told MPs that “the Bulgarian people do not expect miracles from politicians, but work in the right direction”. The current Parliament could reverse the downward spiral of public confidence, he said.
“Reforms will be carried out,” Plevneliev said, adding that there were the resources and the agreement to do so. Reforms would be achieved with political courage, he said.
Touching on international themes, Plevneliev told Parliament that there was no alternative to diplomacy in seeking to resolve the conflict between Russian and Ukraine.