International Conference Marks 11 Years of Bulgaria's EU Membership

International Conference Marks 11 Years of Bulgaria's EU Membership

118 POLITICS - BULGARIA - EU MEMBERSHIP

International Conference Marks
11 Years of Bulgaria's
EU Membership


Sofia, October 19 (BTA) - European Union membership has had a very positive impact on all sectors of the Bulgarian economy and infrastructure, Bulgarian EU Presidency Minister Liliyana Pavlova said on Friday, as quoted by her ministry. Pavlova was addressing an international scientific conference on "Bulgaria's Membership of the European Union: 11 Years On."

The conference was organized by the Department of International Economic Relations and Business at the University of National and World Economics (UNWE) in Sofia and proceeded under the patronage of UNWE Rector Stati Statev.

Pavlova said: "Analysis shows that during the 11 years of our EU membership our gross domestic product has increased substantially, much of the shadow economy has come to light, the legal system has improved, the public administration has increased its capacity, all systems have come to function better, and over 30 billion leva in investments has flown in. I am talking about direct financial resources from EU funds going towards infrastructure, small and medium-sized enterprises, the development of agriculture and other sectors, without which our economy could not have reached its current level."

Precisely 11 years after joining the EU, on January 1, 2018 Bulgaria took over the rotating six-month Presidency of the EU Council and "we played an extremely important role," the minister went on to say.

She recalled that the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council took account of the national and European interests. Discussing the Presidency's focus on the European integration of the Western Balkans, she said: "Latest analyses show that we did the right thing: we chose the right moment for the Balkans' integration into Europe. If we look at security and unity in Europe, they are unthinkable without the Balkans. The Balkans are as important to Europe as Europe is important to the Balkans."

Pavlova noted that the Bulgarian EU Presidency saw the closure of more legislative dossiers than any of the previous five presidencies: 78 out of 105 open dossiers were closed. The Presidency's performance on all priorities influenced media coverage of Bulgaria. An analysis of the output of 120 media organizations in Europe and Bulgaria covering events in the country and the performance of the Bulgarian EU Presidency shows that by the middle of 2018 the share of negative media reports about Bulgaria decreased to just 7 per cent of all reports on the country, from 20 per cent in January, while positive reports increased to 68 per cent from 59 per cent, the minister said.

According to her, Bulgaria derived economic, social, political, cultural and image-related benefits from its Presidency of the EU Council. LI/VE

Source: Sofia