MPs from the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds and Bulgaria-Montenegro Friendship Group have discussed the forthcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU with a delegation from the Parliament of Montenegro, led by its President Ivan Brajović. The delegation is on a two-day official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of Speaker of Parliament Tsveta Karayancheva.
It is very important for Montenegro that Bulgaria will preside over the Council of the EU in the next six months, because one of the main priorities will be the EU integration of the Western Balkans, said President of the Parliament of Montenegro Ivan Brajović at the meeting. It is also very important for us that your country is our strategic partner in South-Eastern Europe, he added.
Chair of the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the EU Funds Kristian Vigenin assured the guests that the Bulgarian institutions supported Montenegro in its efforts to become a member of the European Union. Although Bulgaria has long been a member state, we also face similar issues as you, he said. Kristian Vigenin added that Bulgaria was prepared to share with Montenegro the positive experience it had gained so far in relation to the process of EU integration.
The MPs from the Parliament of Montenegro showed interest in the experience of Committee Deputy Chair and Chair of the Environment and Waters Committee Ivelina Vasileva as regards the environment. They also said that they should seek ways to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries, since the annual turnover of goods was around 16-17 million euros. Bulgaria is exemplary in dealing with unemployment, said the guests and added that the unemployment rate in Montenegro was 22 per cent.
The MPs also discussed the draft calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency, which includes the EU-Western Balkans Summit. This Summit will affirm the European Union’s commitment to the EU prospect for the region, and also provide an opportunity for presenting opinions in the debate on the future of Europe, they said.