Bulgaria regards its forthcoming Presidency of the EU Council as an important responsibility and a chance to broaden and improve the cooperation with its EU partners, President Rumen Radev said here Wednesday. He was speaking at a working meeting with the heads of diplomatic missions of EU and EEA countries in Bulgaria, the head of State's press secretariat report.
Radev expressed Bulgaria's gratitude for the support and advice given by its EU partners in the preparation and defining of the country's priorities for the EU Presidency in 2018.
"EU citizens regard the guaranteeing of their security as a priority. We have the important task to build effective mechanisms for integration and improvement of the policies in many spheres, including the continuation of the Cohesion Policy, digitalization, and defence. Another responsible task are the talks on Brexit in view of protecting Europeans' rights," the head of State said.
Radev and his guests discussed the current topics on the EU agenda, Bulgaria entry in Schengen, as well as the measures taken by Bulgaria for increasing the effectiveness of the fight against corruption and the management of the migrant crisis.
The head of State called for the application of equal criteria to Member States' participation in EU integration projects such as Schengen. Double standards should not be allowed because they have a discouraging effect on the countries which are implementing strictly the obligations and standards set in EU law, he added.
The diplomatic representatives expressed interest in Radev's position on the projects for setting up a common defence in the EU. According to the President, the right strategy for the Union and individual Member States is to have a wide range of capabilities that would guarantee permanent readiness in today's unforeseeable environment, instead of trying to predict the directions and scale of potential threats.
The participants in the meeting also discussed Bulgaria's readiness to support the EU integration of Western Balkan countries.