We must fulfill the promise of Skopje in 2020, insisted the head of the EC
The leaders of the quadruple coalition first tried to explain to her how complicated it is, then spent two hours looking for a way out of the situation.
The lifting of Bulgaria’s veto against Northern Macedonia’s EU accession talks on Thursday is directly linked to reforms worth more than BGN 12 billion that Bulgaria must implement its recovery and sustainability plan.
EC President Ursula von der Layen came to Sofia to present Prime Minister Kiril Petkov with the commission’s approval of the Bulgarian plan.
We agreed that all countries need to carry out concrete reforms. Bulgaria must also carry out its reforms and receive payments under the plan. But it is really important that the reforms are implemented. In 2020, the European Council promised to start negotiations with the Republic of Northern Macedonia and Albania.
We must keep our promise. I know you can and have the strength to do itsaid von der Layen, addressing Prime Minister Petkov.
The head of the EC reminded that the observance of the rights of minorities is an essential part of the EU principles and appears in Art. 2 of the Union Treaty. It ensures that the topic will be present throughout the PCM negotiation process.
Respect for the rights of Bulgarians in northern Macedonia is a key Bulgarian requirement for the veto to fall. President Rumen Radev is urging Macedonians to change their constitution and include Bulgarians in it. For now, however, Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski is proposing that this only happen at the end of the talks. And Bulgaria is trying to introduce the rights of minorities as a condition in all negotiating chapters.
The Prime Minister Not Petkov commented commitment
of the reforms under the plan for restoration and lifting of the Bulgarian veto. An hour later, however, the leaders of the four ruling factions had about an hour of conversation with Ursula von der Leyen. In it, in addition to reforms to the chief prosecutor and the anti-corruption commission, they tried to explain how delicate the Skopje issue is.
Two hours later, the coalition council met in search of a solution on how the Bulgarian veto could be lifted in June. One of the ways discussed was not to go through parliament, but to lift the veto from the government, 24 Chasa has learned.
Secret agreements to lift there is no veto and no there could be,
as the decision for a possible change in the Bulgarian position can be taken only by the National Assembly. We have a framework position that binds the government. We have all confirmed it to the CIS. One person cannot make any commitments. This legend does not work for anyone. I hope the emotions will pass. The coalition is complex. Responsibility must be taken. I hope the tone has calmed down, commented after the coalition council the co-chairman of “Democratic Bulgaria” Hristo Ivanov. He confirmed that the coalition leaders had harsh explanations with the head of the EC.
We explained how complicated the topic of the framework position of the parliament is, that change can only take place with a decision of the National Assembly. This has been explicitly explained to our European partners, and that if any change is to take place, it goes through a very serious commitment from the European institutions to defend our position. This is not just about relations between Bulgaria and the RSMIvanov explained.
According to the DB leader, however, there was no danger of the coalition disintegrating because of northern Macedonia.
Cases with the trade of national interests definitely
threaten relationships in the coalition
We hope that those who thought they would sell national interests will revise their position. There are things that are supra-partisan and not subject to any agreements, however, commented the MP from “There is such a people” Stanislav Balabanov. However, he is not a member of the coalition council, where ITN is represented by the party’s deputy chairman Toshko Yordanov, as Slavi Trifonov does not attend general meetings.
Until Northern Macedonia fulfills its commitments under the Neighborhood Agreement, the BSP will not agree to receive the green light for Bulgaria’s EU membership talks. The BSP’s position on northern Macedonia is unchanged. There is information that work is being done by June to resolve the issue, but technically, if you want, it can not happen. Many things of the contract that we are witnessing are not being fulfilled, said the head of the BSP deputies Georgi Svilenski.
There is no commitment to change our position on PCM. Options are being discussed. There is a clear statement that the negotiations will continue, taking into account the commitments we have made,
without doing changes in position
There is no such commitment at this stage. There are no behind-the-scenes conversations, commented the chairman of the parliamentary group of “We continue the change” Andrey Gyurov.
The Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia, Dimitar Kovachevski, also touched on the issue yesterday.
I’ve always said that we need fast but not hastily decision
The foreign ministries of the two countries are working on political issues. These political issues are discussed in meetings in accordance with the standards of international relations. We are currently working on an exchange of ideas on open political issues and once there is a document or decision that is acceptable to both parties, it will be communicated to the institutions in Bulgaria in accordance with their legal procedures, as well as in our country, in accordance with our regulations and our laws, Kovachevski said, explicitly stressing that there had been no secret talks and negotiations between the two governments.
Work on projects – immediately, but with money from the budget
GERB has discovered a planned bankruptcy of the energy sector. We do not comment on political speculations, the cabinet reacted
Bulgaria will immediately start implementing the projects from the recovery and sustainability plan with its own funds. The first tranches of the EU are expected by the end of the summer, after approval by the European Commission and the Council of Finance Ministers.
This was announced by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov after receiving the approval of the institution for the Bulgarian plan from the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
The EC is pleased that 60% of Bulgaria’s plan is related to the goals of the green deal and that a broad anti-corruption mechanism is envisaged, said Ursula von der Leyen.
By 2026, Bulgaria will triple its energy from renewable sources, a park with batteries and smart grids will be built, the potential of geothermal energy will be activated – Bulgarian energy, which is inexhaustible, and this will give us security, Prime Minister Kiril explained. Petkov.
The EC is also pleased with the government’s control mechanism over the chief prosecutor, Von der Layen said. The cabinet’s plans are for a judge to become a temporary prosecutor, to investigate the chief prosecutors, and then return as a judge, which guarantees his independence, Prime Minister Petkov explained.
Natural gas to Russia will be paid in euros and dollars, not rubles, at least until the EU develops a common position, the EC chief said in Sofia.
Later in parliament, GERB lawmakers said they found many surprises in the recovery plan. One of them is the removal of the Electricity System Operator and Bulgartransgaz from the Bulgarian Energy Holding.
“I answered the question why this plan has been hidden for so long. It means financial collapse and bankruptcy of the state energy. This is the first step towards the privatization of these companies, obviously the Prime Minister Kiril Petkov had something to hide from the public “, said the former Minister of Energy Temenujka Petkova.
We have yet to understand what commitments the government has made to the EC – something that is completely unclear so far, said Tomislav Donchev.
“The European Commission is giving the green light to Bulgaria’s reconstruction plan – this is undoubtedly good news. Of course, this is not the end of the procedure. In order to have an approved plan in the full sense of the word and for Bulgaria to have the right to implement it, the approval of the council is needed. I hope this will happen in the next few weeks, “Donchev added.
Regarding the statement of the former Minister Temenujka Petkova about the planned bankruptcy of the state energy, the Ministry of Energy stated that they do not comment on political speculations.
Yanev is preparing for quick elections because of Skopje
The lifting of the veto on Northern Macedonia’s negotiations with the EU could trigger early elections. This hope was expressed in an interview with BNR by former caretaker Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Stefan Yanev. He is currently preparing his political force.
“Prime Minister Kiril Petkov’s position on northern Macedonia shows ignorance of the problem and a lack of understanding of the future. The rush is under external influence, which is not in the national interest “, accused Yanev, who was released as Minister of War at the insistence of the Prime Minister.
It is possible to hold behind-the-scenes talks on the topic of Northern Macedonia, given that the talks are not held openly on our territory, Yanev added.
The former military minister accused the ruling coalition of ruling through mobile phones, and some members of the government and ruling parties quickly forgot what the agreement on forming the government provided.
“If we send weapons to Ukraine, we automatically become part of the conflict,” Yanev said.
According to him, we need new “now and immediately” fighters, not necessarily F-16s. He explained that at the moment the Bulgarian Air Force is facing the impossibility of continuing to guard our skies due to the decision not to repair Soviet-made planes in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, which means that they will probably no longer be able to .