IBNA interview – Zaharieva: Western Balkans must be high on EU agenda

Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva speaks exclusively to IBNA on the sidelines of the 3rd Ministerial Cross-Border Meeting in Thessaloniki. Zaharieva makes a first assessment for the Bulgarian Presidency, talks about trying to reach an agreement on the new EU asylum policy and the expectations from the EU-Western Balkans Summit to be held in Sofia on May 17 2018.

Approaching the end of the Bulgarian presidency, what are the positive points that you’ve highlighted?

It is very difficult to make an assessment myself, but I think all the information assessed shows our presidency was very successful. Of course, there are still two months ahead of us and very important ones. In all the dossiers that we received there has been really good development and there are still some questions that everybody expected from us, for example on the new asylum policy, and we are the fifth presidency that tried to reach agreement and consensus among the 28 of us. I really hope that until the end of June we will manage finally to close this dossier. As I already mentioned, we are the fifth presidency that tried to reach full consensus on this. It is very difficult. There is an absolutely different position among the member states.

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