site.btaUPDATED Foreign Ministry's Priorities Include Bulgaria's Accession to Schengen, OECD
The caretaker Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Milkov listed the priorities before his Ministry during a press conference in Sofia on Tuesday. Those include organizing the early elections for Bulgarian parliament abroad, participating in the affairs of the EU, NATO, the Western Balkans in a meaningful and active way, Schengen and Bulgaria's accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Milkov said it was likely that talks with the EU would be focused on the next package of sanctions against Russia. In his words, Bulgaria will participate constructively, so as to be part of Europe's coordinated approach to the war. "At the same time, we will try to protect the national interest in terms of the economy and the living standards of Bulgarian citizens," he added.
Regarding Schengen, Milkov said that he will participate in a conference in The Hague the following week. This occasion will be used for talks with his Dutch counterpart Wopke Hoekstra.
Milkov said that all components of the upcoming rule of law in Bulgaria report to be drafted by the European Commission (EC) must be clarified. "It [the report] should be drafted in such a way that it meets the expectations of the Dutch side - to include all the components that are in their and our interest, so that we prove our progress," the Minister said. To avoid a scenario where the report is declared incomplete, a tripartite partnership has been established with the Netherlands and the EC.