French president Emmanuel Macron will visit Bulgaria in August 2017, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said after talks with Macron in the Élysée Palace in Paris on June 6.
During the visit by Macron, Borissov intends showing him how Bulgaria guards its borders.
For Bulgaria, the issue of border security has been a key one in the years that it has sought admission to the EU’s Schengen visa zone.
In more recent years, border security has been an important issue as Bulgaria has dealt with increased illegal border crossings, getting financial and other forms of support from the EU in securing one of the bloc’s external frontiers.
Borissov said that he and Macron had discussed vital topics such as social policies and business visas.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister said that the meeting had taken note of his country’s efforts in the sphere of finance.
Borissov, who became head of Bulgaria’s government for the third time at the beginning of May, less than a fortnight before Macron was elected France’s president, said that the two had made a good start in co-operation in trust.
“I am convinced that with the help of France this is a good start and, like everything in Europe, we hope that it will to pull Europe forward. Strong, united and not forgetting the periphery. Because we are a geographical periphery, but we are very important for the defence of the EU,” Borissov said.
Macron said that Bulgaria has shown strong will to be open to all countries and towards integration.
Macron said that he and Borissov had discussed the issue of bilateral co-operation, the theme of the euro and the prospects for co-operation between the two countries in this regard.
Borissov, referring to the fact that Bulgaria will hold the rotating presidency of the EU in 2018, said that this represented a rare opportunity.
“With what we have achieved as an authority in Europe, we should attack the waiting room of the euro zone,” Borissov said, referring to recently newly-expressed aspirations by some in government to go over from local currency the lev to the common EU currency.
That, Borissov said, meant reducing interest rates on loans, guaranteeing of investments, and the excluding of a two-speed Europe. The division of Europe would come along the line of the euro zone, he said. “And when you are outside the euro zone or the waiting room, there is no one to be angry with afterwards. Those who are inside want to protect their currency and avoid the Greek scenario,” he said.
Borissov’s visit to France is to be followed on June 7 with a trip to Berlin for talks with German chancellor Angela Merkel. In his third significant visit this month after returning as head of government, Borissov will head to Ankara in mid-June for talks with Turkey’s president and prime minister.
(Photo: Presidency of France)