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Ambassador of Bulgaria to Bucharest, Todor Churov: “ there is much potential which has not been used by our countries in the domain of commerce, investments, tourism and energy’

When referring to the idea of Europe at several speeds, recently launched as a debate in Brussels, the ambassador of Bulgaria to Bucharest, Todor Churov, stated in an interview offered to the daily Romania Libera that ‘ personally, I fear this might be the way to destroy the Union. I consider that this is the main argument for those who would prefer a fragmented Europe to be convinced that it is not beneficial. I do not want to think that the destruction of the EU is a purpose in itself. I hope that Bulgaria and Romania find sufficient supporters with a view to supporting the unity of the EU’.

According to him, the debate regarding the future of the EU is not new, only differently presented:’Europe at several speeds’ was also called ‘ Europe of variable geometry’, ‘ Europe of concentrical circles’ or ‘Europe a la carte’.Bulgaria,during the process of accession and as a fully-fledged member has militated for European Union completely unified, based on common values, respect with regards to the interests of the parties and solidarity, for the guarantee of the rights and the obligations of the member states. This principle position as Europe with several speeds cannot be perceived in a positive way’ the ambassador Churov said.

As regards the accession to the Schengen area, he showed that both Bulgaria and Romania are in the same situation- they met the criteria for accession, ‘ but then there were introduced supplementary criteria which initially did not exist (…). I don’t consider that in this matter our countries afford to compete against one another, especially as the Danube was always considered as a soft border not a border external to the Schengen Area. Both countries collaborate at Brussels at the level of the standing offices but it might be necessary to strengthen our collaboration,possibly a common strategy’.

In connection with Romania’s proposal regarding the setting up of a NATO fleet in the Black Sea, the ambassador of Bulgaria to Bucharest Todor Churov showed what Bulgaria’s position is:’ We are not in favour of regional solutions which represent, in fact, the option of the trilateral format. We consider that in the region of the Black Sea, as well as in the other parts of the area of NATO responsibility there should be mutual decisions, with the contribution of all member states, as well as a military maritime union, an optimal use of the military maritime troops, the organisation of the joint military exercises and the creation of a coordination element, correlated with MARCOM Northwood.According to the information we have, the positions of the two countries are quite similar and the two standing delegations to Brussels collaborate closely. This aspect is very important as after the meeting of the ministers of defence, in this domain, there are many issues to settle’.

In the quoted interview there was also tackled the present state of the relations between Romania and Bulgaria, the Bulgarian diplomat saying that ‘ there is much potential which has not been used in the domain of commerce, investments, tourism and energy. Unfortunately there are many aspects not finalised in the interconnection of the roads between our two countries – which is unfavourable not only from the economic point of view but to the comfort of our citizens. Then, we do not use enough the cultural heritage, although both countries have a very rich cultural heritage’.