The European Integration and NATO are the Factors that can Ensure Lasting Stability in the Western Balkans Region, National Assembly Chairman Georgi Pirinski stated in his Address to the Republic of Macedonia's Assembly
The European Integration and NATO are the factors that can ensure lasting stability in the Western Balkans Region, National Assembly Chairman Georgi Pirinski stated in his address to the Republic of Macedonia's Assembly.
A Bulgarian parliamentary delegation paid an official visit to Macedonia on March 9-11, 2008 at the invitation of Lubisha Georgievski, Chairman of the Macedonian Parliament. The Bulgarian MPs had meetings with Republic of Macedonia's President, Branko Tsurvenkovski, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, with Stoyan Andov, Head of the Assembly's Group for Bulgarian - Macedonian friendship and representatives of different parliamentary groups.
National Assembly Chairman, Georgi Pirinski addressed the MPs of the Republic of Macedonia's Assembly on March 11, 2008.
In his speech, Chairman Pirinski stated that it has been a great honor for him to address the Supreme Legislative Institution and its parliamentary members, representing the citizens of Republic of Macedonia , nominated as a result of universal, direct and free elections. In addition of being a high privilege, the opportunity to talk in front of the Assembly represented a big responsibility due to the fact that parliamentarians are directly accountable to those who elected them for their actions, decisions and positions.
"This responsibility, as we all understand well, increases many times because of its remote in time possible consequences.
Our two countries who are in the heart of the Balkans are today once again confronting the choice between stability, security and cooperation or destabilization, tensions and hostility. No one should underestimate the serious challenges and the real dangers from setting up new territories and new grounds of perilous conflicts.
It is true that the Declaration proclaiming the Independence of Kosovo was expected but unfortunately it has come as a unilateral decision, regardless of the persistent efforts of the Three of the European Union, the United States and the Russian Federation to reach an agreement. We now observe the increasing trends for division of the countries directly impacted in the Security Council of the United Nations.
These trends come in a time when despite the relative stabilization, the undergoing democratic developments in the building of rules and institutions, the societies in this part of the Balkans are not mature enough to be able to provide all the guaranties for the evasion of new crisis.
That is why we face the very serious question what is the correct attitude, what principles we have to look for that will provide for a positive vision for our countries and the region as a whole. The primary concern in such moments becomes the imperative requirements and interests for the national security of each country.
We should clearly state that in the past, as well as today, the national interests. the security of our citizens and states can not be defended successfully if we put ourselves in self isolation, through ignoring the processes of regional development and full European integration. It is obvious that to find the best solution to one's own country security in correspondence with the one of the neighboring countries and the Community towards which one aspires is an extremely difficult task and that is why the responsibility of the politicians and statesmen, the social structures and the Media is so crucial.
Republic of Bulgaria as a democratic and lawful country is developing such policies in the last years, as the best way to protect the vital interests of our citizens and country. From this position we try to contribute our efforts to the common development of the Southeast Region of Europe.
We embrace the vision which makes impossible an armed conflict as a way to solve the problems and gives the opportunity for a dignified life of the present and future generations in the ambience of good will and well being.
For us this translates into efforts to transform the constitutional norms for a democratic political life , for the rule of law, for a committed social state into an every day reality. The balance we draw during the present year when we celebrate the 130th Anniversary of the renaissance of Bulgaria as a State and the 100th Anniversary of the proclamation of its Independence shows that Bulgaria has a stable and consistent development, regardless of all the unsolved problems and difficulties.
A decisive factor of primary importance for this is the accession of the country into the European and NATO community, who share the same values and interests. The full membership of the country did increase the profit for foreign investments several times, it expanded the life horizons of every Bulgarian and provided reliable guaranties for security and prosperity of our country in a long term. The way to the present day status of Bulgaria was neither short, nor easy. We still need to make persistent and continuous efforts to introduce changes in order to reach that economic and social status, leadership and foreign relations, adequate to the requirements and the criteria for full and responsible membership.
At the same time the membership of Bulgaria in the European Union and NATO is correlated with the active development of our relations with strategic partners from the Eurasian region and with the Russian Federation in particular. Our long term agreements for the construction of a new atomic power station, for new gas and petrol pipelines is not only of primary importance to Bulgaria but is of great interest to the countries in Europe and their long term transeuropean energy projects.
Bulgaria has an active commitment to the multilateral cooperation in the region. The Process of Cooperation in South- East Europe - the only initiative, created and implemented by the countries in the region and started on the Foreign Minister's Summit in Sofia, 12 years ago has gained today the recognition that it has the capacity to continue the democratization, stabilization and integration of the region.
The transformation of the Pact for Stability into Council for Regional Development in which all countries from the region are full participants is a proof of this recognition. I would like to draw the attention on this fact, because in my view, it is becoming extremely important.
This transformation gives to the countries from the Region the opportunity to create and discuss a plan of their own, relating to their strategy for a long term stability and security, in conformity with the vital interests of each country. It goes by itself that such a plan can be successful, if it is in close connection with the approaches and priorities of the European Union and the positions of the strategic partners of our countries.
The Parliaments of the member - countries in the Region have an important role to play in building the confidence and capabilities of this endeavor. The first step in this direction can be made on the forthcoming Seventh Conference of the Parliamentary Chairmen from the Region, which is to take place in Sofia, next month. We expect to sign there the Memorandum for Understanding and Interparliamentary Cooperation in South-East Europe.
I don't need to explain the importance of such an approach, namely to take the responsibility of our destiny into our own hands, at this very moment, when dangers for our stability and security are on the increase.
Honorable Mister Chairman,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
The present day bilateral relations between Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of Macedonia reflect the whole aspect of interests and problems between the two countries, as well as the specific and complicated sides and challenges faced by the Region and the European Union. I would like to take this opportunity, to stress once again the constant will of Bulgaria to contribute its efforts to develop our active, mutually favorable cooperation, one that we have explicitly supported in the last 15 years.
The basic position of Bulgaria is that the factors capable to contribute to a lasting stability of the Western Balkans, including The Republic of Macedonia are the European Union and NATO orientation. On the NATO Summit in Riga at the end of 2006, Bulgaria has taken the decisive position to enable the access of new countries including the Republic of Macedonia.
In less than a month, at the NATO Conference in Bucharest, the Organization can increase its number with three new members. There is no doubt that the invitation for membership is a direct result of how the candidate countries reach and observe the common standards and criteria for the development and support of long term good neighborly relations, in addition to the internal reforms.
It is very important that no step back should be allowed now from our agreements, that made possible our bilateral cooperation and remain a solid base for its successful development for the last 10 years.
It becomes very important to break with the stereotypes from the past and the recurrent " rhetoric of hate" , surfacing at times in certain official statements, that undermine the creation of the so needed ambiance of confidence and mutual respect.
A very important task, which should not be postponed any more, for the two countries, and for the Region becomes the construction of the Railroad and the other communications connecting the Adriatic with the Black Sea Region. The long deferral of this project deprives the economies of the countries in the Region from better chances for advancement and represents a harmful fall behind in the implementation of the projects within the transeuropean transport systems.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today our two parliaments face the common challenge to help the development of all aspects in our bilateral relations on one side and to reaffirm the common European future for all the countries in the Region of Southeast Europe on the other. The time has come to reinforce the connections between the friendship groups, to organize regular contacts and meetings between similar parliamentary committees and why not common sessions of the two parliaments..
Let us join our efforts to ensure a real stability, security and growth so necessary to our citizens who delegated to us these supreme responsibilities"