Bulgaria opens new consulates in Scotland, Germany, France
Bulgaria’s caretaker government agreed on August 31 to open a consulate in Edinburgh, a government media statement said.
The consulate will have a consular district covering the territories of Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as the counties of Cumbria, Northumberland, Durham and Tyne and Wear in England.
The opening of a Bulgarian consulate in the city of Edinburgh is justified by the growing number of Bulgarian citizens in the territory of the United Kingdom, the statement said.
According to Home Office data, as of December 31 2021, a total of 289 700 Bulgarians had received permanent residence.
In April 2021, Bulgarian citizens in the UK organised a petition, supported by 800 Bulgarian citizens in Scotland, to open a Bulgarian consulate in Edinburgh.
The consulate would assist in improving consular and administrative services for Bulgarians in places far from London, where Bulgaria’s only diplomatic mission in the UK operates, the government statement said.
“The consulate will provide easier and faster access to consular services such as submitting an application for the issuance of Bulgarian identity documents, performing notarisations and power of attorneys and declarations, as well as obtaining civil status documents,” the statement said.
“The opening of a consulate in the city of Edinburgh will increase the intensity of political dialogue and create new opportunities for deepening bilateral cooperation in trade and economic relations, education and science, culture and tourism.”
The caretaker government approved additional spending from the Foreign Ministry budget for 2022 of 671 200 leva for the opening of the consulate in Edinburgh, the statement said.
The caretaker government approved the opening of a consulate-general in the German city of Düsseldorf, with a consular district covering the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The statement said that the opening of the consulate-general in Düsseldorf would optimise the activities of the consulate-general in Frankfurt am Main.
The consulate-general in Frankfurt in Main will now cover the federal states of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. The statement said that the Frankfurt am Main consulate-general had an extremely high workload.
The statement quoted official German data as showing that 410 890 Bulgarian citizens were living in Germany as of December 31 2021, with 96 715 registered in North Rhine-Westphalia.
“Taking into account the economic potential of the province of North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as the prospects for the development of bilateral cooperation in various spheres of mutual interest, the opening of the consulate general will make a real contribution not only to strengthening the administrative capacity of the consular presence, but also to activating the dialogue at the local level and deepening of trade-economic relations,” the statement said.
“This will also contribute to the promotion of Bulgaria as an attractive tourist destination and to the promotion of cooperation in the fields of culture, science and education.”
Among Germany’s 16 federal states, North Rhine-Westphalia is Bulgaria’s largest foreign trade partner.
The state is a leading investor in Bulgaria, due to the concentration of significant multinational companies and a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises, the government statement said.
The caretaker government approved additional spending from the Foreign Ministry budget for 2022 of 1 052 600 leva for the opening of the consulate-general in Düsseldorf.
The government information service said that the caretaker cabinet also approved the opening of a consulate-general in Lyon, France with a consular district covering the regions of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, New Aquitaine, Occitania, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Corsica.
(Photo of Edinburgh: Tilmandralle, via Wikimedia Commons)
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