Former Council President Rompuy: Europe's Not on the Brink of Collapse, This Isn't the Beginning of the Union's End

May 7 (BTA) - Former Belgian prime minister and former
president of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy spoke in a
conference on "Bulgarian Politics in the Euro-Atlantic Reality"
in Sofia on Tuesday. "Europe is not on the brink of collapse and
 we are not witnessing the beginning of the end of the European
Union, in any case," he said.

"People support open societies, open democracies, open economies
 because it brings them peace, prosperity and democracy. But if
they do not feel that they are sufficiently protected against
real or suspected threats, then they reject these open
societies," Rompuy said. "That is why we need to work harder to
protect people from unemployment, mass illegal immigration,
terrorist threats, growing inequality, and climate change," he

Rompuy said that this is work not only for the European
institutions, but also for national governments and national
parliaments. "It is a collective effort to make our societies
more stable and cohesive," said Rompuy. We must convey a message
 of hope, a positive message, which is the worst thing for
populists," he emphasized. The Belgian politician noted that
populists were forced to change their strategy - they are now no
 longer leaving the EU, because most citizens are against it,
but want to destroy the community from within.

"The next European Parliament will continue to have a
pro-European majority," Rompuy predicted. "However, without
renewed confidence in the EU and its institutions, the Union
will remain sickly," he added.

US Ambassador Eric Rubin said his country is pleased that
Bulgaria intends to buy F16 fighter jets. He noted that Bulgaria
 is a key ally in NATO, has a tradition in military aviation and
 can make a big contribution to the Alliance. Regarding price
concerns, Rubin said that Bulgaria as an ally will get the best
possible price from the US to support Bulgarian military

"As far as investments are concerned, our commitment to
Bulgarian economic growth and prosperity is one of our goals,
including helping to create good jobs, as we are one of the
largest foreign investors in Bulgaria," he added.

"With regard to energy, we believe that there is a need for
diversification and we agree with the view that Europe should
not have a country that depends only on one energy supplier,"
Rubin said. Diversification is also very important for national
security, he added.

Rossen Plevneliev, president of Bulgaria from 2012 to 2017,
expressed hope that the European Commission and European leaders
 would focus on areas with more problems, because only then can
these be solved.

"I do not believe we will see another Brexit," he added.
According to him, deep reform is needed in the EU. "I do not
believe in united European states, but I believe in a strong
alliance of strong nation states, I do not see any contradiction
 between the EU being strong and its members being strong,"
Plevneliev said. LY/DT


Source: Sofia