To tackle the refugee crisis we need a common efficient foreign and security policy, something that Bulgarian institutions, including the Parliament, have been consistently pursuing, stated the President of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva at the European Conference of the Presidents of Parliament in Strasbourg. Tsetska Tsacheva made a statement on the first theme of the forum “The migration and refugee crisis in Europe – role and responsibilities of national parliaments”.
The President of Parliament pointed out that the refugee crisis was a serious problem that needed to be resolved by European countries in an unstable, interlinked geostrategic environment. In her words, the foreign policy aspects of European countries are interlinked more than ever with internal security aspects.
Only a common European response could lead to a long-term and sustainable solution, the President of the National Assembly added. According to Tsetska Tsacheva isolated independent steps that some countries are tempted to take do not yield a sustainable solution to the refugee crisis.
The President of the National Assembly recalled the logo of the Bulgarian Chairmanship-In-Office of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe “Unity Makes Strength” and stated that in her view this was the way to seek, find and apply common solutions to our common problems.
For Bulgaria, which is a border Member State of the European Union, strict border control is of utmost importance, said the President of Parliament. In order to make it possible for the migration we face be in line with law, make compulsory registration of the persons crossing the border, clearly differentiate the persons in need of protection from economic migrants.
For us, application of the agreement on readmission between EU and Turkey is of utmost importance, noted Tsetska Tsacheva and recalled that Turkey bound the application of the agreement with the abolition of the visa regime for Turkish citizens in the EU. Bulgaria and the prime minister himself are making significant diplomatic efforts to contribute to the favourable solution for all on that matter, she pointed out. It is crucial not only for us, but for the whole of Europe if Greece, as well as our neighbouring countries the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Serbia are able to tackle the migration crisis, added the President of Parliament.
The measures recommended by PACE to the European governments in 2011 and reaffirmed in 2015 on how to live together in the 21st century require from newcomers settling on the territory of European countries to accept the European values, the human rights and the rule of law as their values, noted Tsetska Tsacheva.
The President of Parliament reminded the 2015 initiative of the Bulgarian Delegation to PACE, adopted unanimously by the Assembly on 27 November in Sofia, which called on reaffirming the principles of European unity and cooperation.
The role of parliamentary assemblies such as PACE and of national parliaments in this situation is to achieve dialogue, addressing the fears and actual problems of people and the difficulties so as to find a favourable solution for a way out of the situation backed by public support, Tsetska Tsacheva said.
The President of Parliament stated that in the face of the National Assembly and the Bulgarian Delegation to PACE the organization had a loyal and strongly motivated partner in seeking and applying a common solution to this acute Europe-wide problem.
In the framework of the forum the President of the National Assembly took part in a meeting of women presidents of parliament. The meeting was at the initiative of the Deputy President of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek and the place of women in politics and management was discussed in it.