Bulgarian FM calls for Western Balkans EU integration

The EU should do everything possible to ensure the integration of the countries from the Western Balkans and to end divisions in the region, stressed Bulgarian foreign minister Nikolay Mladenov at the traditional Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia.

“We must never forget or waver from our commitment to complete the process is South East Europe and bring in all our neighbors between Bulgaria and Slovenia”,” stated Mladenov, adding that the EU should never fail to reaffirm and follow up on the European perspective of the region.

In his speech, entitled “EU in a Multipolar World,” the Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke highly of the great merits and potential that the Union has at its disposal to ensure peaceful and prosperous living not only for its own citizens, but also throughout the world.

Mladenov said that in an era of globalization that undermines the roles of states, the EU should act on its ability to bring people together and balance differences through solidarity and dialogue.

He strongly called for consistent exercise of soft power to exert influence abroad.

Besides enlargement – something that Mladenov saw as a “vital drive in bringing Europe at the forefront of global affairs” – he stressed the importance of the Union’s energy security, trans-Atlantic ties and forging new partnerships with countries “from China to Brazil.”

A special emphasis was put on the European External Action Service, which is presently being structured, and which according to Mladenov is going to effect one of the greatest achievements of the EU.

“Despite the slow start to our common external action service, let us never forget that the successes of European integration never occurred overnight, they all took time, effort and compromise,” reminded the Bulgarian foreign minister.

Mladenov also stated that as a new member-state, Bulgaria has special responsibilities and will continue doing its best in performing them.

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