Let's say that the Prime Minister Borissov sincerely desire to make real justice reform and to amend the Constitution
The next five years will be crucial to the future of the European Union and its position in both global politics and the regional arena. The same timeline will be also of importance to Bulgaria’s development prospects and role in shaping European agenda. Today, the European project is faced with some serious social, economic and geopolitical challenges. EU state of democracy and legitimacy strength depend on raising citizens’ trust in European institutions as well as on citizens’ direct involvement in formulating decisions and recommendations. The Union is currently undergoing a period of redefining its model thus mandating a new reading, a new long-term vision and prudent leadership.
“Bulgaria is still in search of the best formula for its full-fledged participation in the European project. The choice of the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk for President of the European Council and the appointment of the Bulgarian commissioner Kristalina Georgieva for a vice-president of the European Commission demonstrate clearly that Europe recognizes and relies on the expertise and contribution of the new Member States to the development of the Union. During the next five years Bulgaria has a real opportunity and a chance to influence and actively contribute to the political and governmental processes in the EU.” With these words Sasha Bezuhanova, initiator and founder of the civil platform for debate and common action MOVE.BG, presented the publication “Visions for Europe: The Bulgarian Perspective of the European Priorities”, where MOVE.BG has gathered the expertise of thirteen Bulgarian political scientists, economists, legal and energy security experts to define together the future of the European project.
Here is a video from the event (in Bulgarian)
The presentation took place on December 4th, 2014 in the House of Europe and was followed by an extensive panel discussion in which, together with some of the authors, participated Julia Zaharieva, Associate Professor at the Department of European Studies at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Ognyan Minchev, Chairman of the Managing Board of the Institute for Regional and International Studies and Chairman of the Board of Transparency International-Bulgaria, and Aglika Sabeva-Tzvetanova, European Semester Officer at the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria.
Ognyan Minchev was explicit that the vision of Bulgaria for Europe begins with our own vision for ourselves. “In Bulgarian politics the main issue is not how to defend our national interest, but rather what our national interest is. As long as we do nor reach a minimum consensus on our own vision for Bulgaria, we will have problems with what Europe means for us,” he stated.
Julia Zaharieva noted that one of the main achievements on the European Union if the process of democratization, which is manifested in the formula “Europe for the citizens”, but the bright ideas of the founders of the grand European project are degenerated into burdensome bureaucratic procedures. In this context, the political scientist Vladimir Shopov underlined that it is not surprising that there is a process of renegotiation of the EU legitimacy, and it is for the first time that this is happening not between the elites themselves, but between the elites and the European citizens.
Kiril Petkov, co-founder of the Centre for Economic Strategy and Competitiveness and co-founder of MOVE.BG, highlighted that the value of the publication is in its holistic reading and approach, which substantiates and highlights the connection between the socio-economic, geopolitical, and democratic aspect of development of the EU and Bulgaria. In order to improve its competitiveness each Member State needs to analyse its potential and possible partners in the European family, which is also the focus of the economic programme of MOVE.BG.
According to Hristo Hristev, PhD, Lecturer of European Union Law at the Law Faculty, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and co-founder of MOVE.BG, the realms of foreign policy and security are among the painful examples that the existing framework is ineffective and is characterized by a number of weaknesses. The solution in his view lies in the consolidation of common foreign and security policies and federalization.
The presentation of the economic part of Junker’s programme by Aglika Sabeva-Tsvetanova provoked a lively debate. She presented the autumn forecast of the EU for Bulgaria, which predicts pessimistic growth of just 0.6% on an annual basis for 2015 and 1% for 2016. Tsvetanova reminded the audience of the main problems Bulgaria is facing in the absorption of European funds, namely the insufficient administrative capacity, the need of a better regulation of public procurements, and the lack of progress in the in the project for e-government.
The authors of the publication are Evgeny Angelov, Advisor for Economic Development and Innovations to the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Vladimir Shopov, political scientist, Vihar Georgiev, PhD, Assistant Professor at the European Studies Department of Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski”, Kiril Petkov, economist, co-founder of the Centre for Economic Strategy and Competitiveness and co-founder of MOVE.BG, Hristo Hristev, PhD, Lecturer in EU Law at the Law Faculty of Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski” and co-founder of MOVE.BG, Antony Todorov, Professor at New Bulgarian University, Marin Lessenski, programme director of the European Policies Initiative, Rosen Dimov, PhD, executive director of European Alternatives, Vladimir Sirkarov,co-founder of Brain Workshop Institute, Martin Vladimirov, international and energy security expert, Velislav Ivanov, co-founder of blEUprint, Assya Kavrakova, director of the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) and Elisar Bashir, European Policy Officer and Programme Coordinator at MOVE.BG.
The publication is a natural continuation of the European programme of MOVE.BG “You Move Europe”, as well as following the conference “Visions for Europe” organized in the eve of the European elections in 2014.
The publication is available for free on the MOVE.BG website HERE (in BULGARIAN)
The ambition of MOVE.BG is to contribute to the understanding of and awareness about Europe through an active and free public debate about the important pan-European issues. We strive to switch the perspective and the focus to the Bulgarian contribution and to the opportunity to influence the integration processes through specific messages and a new common reading of the European path of development.
The event was organized with the kind support of the Information Office of the European Parliament in Bulgaria.
Sasha Bezuhanova, initiator and founder of MOVE.BG
Vladimir Sirkarov, co-founder of Brain Workshop Institute, Martin Vladimirov - international and energy security expert, Hristo Hristev, PhD, Lecturer in EU Law at the Law Faculty of Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski” and co-founder of MOVE.BG and Kiril Petkov, economist, co-founder of the Centre for Economic Strategy and Competitiveness and co-founder of MOVE.BG
Elisar Bashir, European Policy Officer and Programme Coordinator at MOVE.BG, Julia Zaharieva, Associate Professor at the Department of European Studies at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Mr. Ognyan Minchev, Chairman of the Managing Board of the Institute for Regional and International Studies and Chairman of the Board of Transparency International-Bulgaria