Georgi Pirinski and the Chairman of the Wallonia Parliament Jose Apart Discuss Intensification of Regional Cooperation
28 October 2008
A Belgian parliamentary delegation, headed by the Speaker of parliament of the Belgian province of Wallonia is on a four day visit to Bulgaria, at the invitation of Chairman Georgi Pirinski.
At the meeting, Georgi Pirinski noticed that the National Assembly of Bulgaria considers maintaining of regular relations with the regional parliaments of the EU member countries is particularly important. In his view, such relations facilitate the exchange of information and decision making, with regard to the practical issues of operating the processes in the EU at regional level. He emphasized that the cooperation at regional level is particularly valuable to Bulgaria.
He expressed his gratitude for the fact that the Wallonia parliament was amongst the first to ratify the accession agreement of Bulgaria to the European Union. He also stated that most of the activities of the 40th National Assembly of Bulgaria were dedicated to the preparations for accession. Now that Bulgaria has joined the EU, the work of parliament is directed mostly to harmonize the country’s legislation with the one of the Union. Statistical data of the European Commission shows that Bulgaria has reached this goal at 98 %, he added.
Mr. Pirinski stated that Bulgaria aims at contributing to the development of the EU as a community, and at the first place to support peace. He emphasized the role of the National Assembly for the positive developments in South East Europe and of the Republic of Bulgaria as a host of the Regional Secretariat for Parliamentary Cooperation in South – East Europe.
Jose Apart, on his behalf, underscored the importance of the cooperation between the two parliaments. He outlined the fields of agriculture and tourism as such of mutual interest. He also said that further options for contacts and acquaintance of the citizens of the two countries should be looked for, so that Bulgaria should become more familiar to Belgians.
Chairman Pirinski pointed to the presence, in Bulgaria, of many historic monuments from different ages, which could potentially be interesting to the people in the Western part of the Continent.
The Speaker of the Wallonia parliament signed the NA book of honorary guests and visited the plenary hall.
The Belgian parliamentary delegation held meeting with the Local self-government, regional policy and urban development committee in the Bulgarian parliament.
The Belgian guests are scheduled to meet also the Deputy Prime Minister of EU funds Meglena Plougchieva and the Minster of the State Administration, Nikolay Vassilev.
The delegation is to visit the towns of V. Turnovo and Rousse and to have meetings with their mayors.
On October 31st, 2008 Jose Apart, and the delegation are to meet the leadership of the parliamentary Committee on European Affairs and with representatives of the friendship group between the two parliaments.