Bulgaria’s EU Presidency ministry slams opposition BSP for politicising presidency

Making Bulgaria’s 2018 Presidency of the EU a theme of party congresses shows, unfortunately, a complete lack of responsibility to the nation and was a bid to conceal internal party issues, the ministry in charge of the presidency said on October 29.

The statement came a day after the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party adopted its own 10 “alternative” priorities for the country’s EU Presidency, accusing Prime Minister Boiko Borissov of having failed to keep a promise to formulate the priorities only after a discussion in Parliament.

While referring to “making the Presidency a theme of party congresses”, the ministry’s statement did not mention the BSP by name.

The ministry, headed by Liliyana Pavlova, said that the Bulgarian EU Presidency was a national cause and should unite the efforts of everyone. It pointed to the motto of the country’s EU Presidency, which – in the official English translation – is “United We Stand Strong”.

“The forthcoming Presidency is not of Bulgaria itself, but of the Council of the European Union, one of the co-legislators at European level. Any attempt to divert energy from the European agenda, delaying of the process of adopting legislation by blocking the work of the institutions in a state holding the rotating Presidency because of political tensions and early elections is showing a lack of political responsibility and vision for the member state and the whole EU. We are committed to demonstrating stability and consolidated action,” the ministry’s statement said.

It said that history remembers presidencies in which the opposition had provoked antagonism among parties, in which there had been political instability, elections during the presidency, “but these are not successful examples of countries presiding over the European Union”.

“Let us unite around the Presidency as a common cause and move forward,” the statement said.

On the morning of October 29, Borissov’s GERB party held a special meeting of its executive committee, followed by a hastily-convened news conference, to respond to the BSP criticisms at the congress the day before. GERB parliamentary leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov, flanked by other Cabinet ministers including Pavlova, hit out at the BSP’s sundry accusations as “lies and manipulations”.

Borissov said that the resolution approved by the BSP to seek to table a vote of no confidence in his government was “fake news”.



Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015), and co-author of the book Bulgarian Jews: Living History (The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria 'Shalom', 2018). He is also the author of Power: A Political Novel, available via amazon.com, and, on the lighter side, Whiskers And Other Short Tales of Cats (2021), also available via Amazon. He has translated books and numerous texts from Bulgarian into English.