Macron to Denkov: Thank you for your courage in implementing reforms and Bulgaria’s European path

There are three main areas in which France and Bulgaria are increasingly close and which are at the heart of the European project, the defender of which is the Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov – European security and defence, nuclear energy and the deepening of European integration, French President Emmanuel Macron told a joint briefing in Paris with Denkov on February 21.

Before their start of the talks, Macron congratulated the Bulgarian government on the efforts made for stronger European integration.

“Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for being a guest here in Paris and thank you for your courage in carrying out the reforms and the path to Europe of your country – this is important for you, but also for us,” Macron told Denkov.

Macron expressed his support for Bulgaria’s membership in Schengen and the euro zone.

He also emphasized support for Ukraine, as well as the need for the EU to strengthen its own defence capacity on its own, in addition to Nato’s capabilities.

Denkov said: “Our meeting confirms the strong partnership between France and Bulgaria in vital areas such as security, defence, energy, trade, culture and agriculture.

“As members of the EU and Nato, our close cooperation strengthens and guarantees the security not only of our two economies and societies, but also of Europe as a whole and of our transatlantic cooperation,” Denkov said.

He said that the Bulgarian government and the parliamentary majority in Bulgaria will continue to support Ukraine and its people, both through national efforts and through international forms of cooperation, EU and Nato structures – as long as necessary.

Denkov said that Bulgaria has already met the goal of two per cent of GDP as defence spending and continues to do so by strengthening its own capabilities and joining the structures of Nato’s Eastern flank.

Bulgaria continues to implement national reforms in a number of sectors to increase its competitiveness, investment, energy security, education and innovation – to strengthen Bulgaria’s European and transatlantic path, which is now irreversible, he said.

Bulgaria is preparing to join the euro zone on January 1 2025, Denkov said.

“At the same time, we are doing everything possible to overcome Austria’s last objections to Schengen by land,” he said.

Denkov said that another main goal of the government was for Bulgaria to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

“I especially want to note our deep gratitude to France – for the strong and constant support for our efforts in these areas,” he said.

With these steps, Bulgaria will become an even stronger partner that actively contributes to the achievement of the strategic goals of the EU, Denkov said.

He confirmed that Bulgaria would continue to support the European path of development of its neighbours on the Balkan Peninsula.

“At the same time, we will insist that the EU’s clear and objective criteria for integration be fulfilled.”

He emphasised the green transition, which must be carried out in such a way as to benefit European economies and citizens.

“Bulgaria is an active and proud member of the Francophone family. This is another solid foundation on which to build our bilateral relations. I hope that we will move forward at an accelerated pace, because this is beneficial for our two countries, for Europe and for our Euro-Atlantic cooperation,” Denkov said.


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