Bulgaria proposes role in Western Balkans

In separate meetings with European Union leaders, Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov and President Georgi Purvanov have proposed that the bloc draw on Bulgaria’s assistance in the Western Balkans.

Meeting EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton ahead of an EU foreign ministers’ meeting on February 22, Mladenov suggested that Brussels draw on Bulgarian expertise in its policy on the region.

This idea was welcomed, according to the Foreign Ministry in Sofia.

At the Ashton – Mladenov meeting, issues discussed included Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia.

Purvanov, who met European Council President Herman van Rompuy as part of a series of meetings with senior officials in the bloc from February 22 to 24, proposed to Van Rompuy that Bulgaria take on a co-ordinating function in implementing EU economic strategy in the Western Balkans.

This would be part of the EU economic strategy for the period up to the year 2020.

Purvanov offered to write the proposal personally, envisioning Bulgaria in a co-ordinating role. This proposal would be submitted on behalf of all Bulgarian institutions, according to Purvanov’s office.

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