Parliament Adopts Report on National Security in 2015

Parliament Adopts Report on National Security in 2015

Parliament Adopts Report on National Security in 2015

Sofia, September 1 (BTA) - Parliament adopted Thursday a report on national security in 2015. It looks at the key aspects of the national security system and at existing and emerging risks and threats.

It says that the risks and threats for this country are caused by the change of the strategic environment in Europe and the Black Sea basin resulting from the growing military capabilities of Russia, the destabilization of Eastern Ukraine and the countries in the Caucasus.

The report analyzes the response measures by NATO and the EU for increasing the security of the eastern border.

It looks at the impact of the unprecedented migrant pressure on Europe and the Balkans, the risks for collapse of statehood in countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa, the increased risk of terrorist acts and radicalization in all countries.

The report also catalogues activities performed by government department and agencies in fulfilling their obligations as part of the implementation of the national security strategy.

The strategic goal of the Bulgarian defence policy is to build, within the available and expected financial resources, interoperable armed forces capable of fulfilling their tasks within the three missions of the armed forces: defence; support for international peace and security; and contributing to national security in time of peace.

The negative trend of contracting defence budgets in recent years has been turned and it remains at 1.35 per cent of GDP as it was in 2014, as called for by the Programme 2020 in defence and the NATO Summit in Wales.

The structure and staff of the armed forces is preserved within the limits of 37,000-40,000. The development of the first staff elements for the integration of NATO forces has been launched and a Strategic Action Plan of the Armed Forces for Defence of the Country in Crises has been developed.

The report says that the 55 Capabilities Targets 2013 are not being met according to plan, as is not the training of the planned 50 formations, due to insufficient funding and holding up the process of rearmament and modernization.

The capabilities for participation in joint operations of the Air Force and the Navy has not been achieved, and the Land Forces alone are nearing the targets under these basic NATO criteria. The certification of all planned six battalion groups has completed, but it was conducted with a lot of conditionality because of the questionable shape of armament, equipment, and material.

The report speaks of the critical condition of the air force jets and mentions problems in the fulfilment of Air Policing tasks, which called for revisions in the applicable law to make possible joint policing in the Bulgarian air space.

The armed forces participated in NATO's Response Forces, in the organization of multinational EU combat groups, participated in 206 exercises and trainings, 14 missions and operations abroad and 182 operations in support of the population. The projects for modenrisation depending on the needs and resources were prioritized, and the first two of the five project of first (highest) priotity to Aquire a new combat aircraft and new patrol ships have already been launched. In spite of the efforts, the shortages of staff in military formations has not been overcome and the voluntary reserve recruitment is behind schedule.

Source: Sofia