The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker expressed support for the Bulgarian place in the European Council in 2018 and the country’s future within the EU and Schengen zone.
”The Western Balkans are a priority of the European Commission as well as a priority of Bulgaria, said Juncker during his meeting with the Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov at the Council of Ministers in Sofia, at the ceremony that marks Bulgaria’s first EU rotating Presidency.
Juncker: Bulgaria’s Schengen joining should happen as soon as possible
“Bulgaria did its job and covered all the requirements for Schengen, her joining should happen as soon as possible,” said Juncker from Sofia, only to add that “Europe will be a safer place if Bulgaria joins Schengen”.
The EU executive chef said he values very much Bulgaria’s dedication to the cause of the EU, with an entire generation growing up since the country joined in 2007. But still, since Bulgaria hasn’t been incorporated into the Schengen zone, this, according to the European Commission president is “the next logical step” for making Bulgaria a full bloc member.
Along with Bulgaria’s Schengen membership, Juncker’s meeting with Borissov was the general long-term financial framework of the EU membership of the euro area. During Juncker’s next meeting with the Bulgarian president Rumen Radev, had the common European defense, the dangers of migration flows and terrorism, as well as the need for an active dialogue with the large neighbors of Bulgaria, members of NATO – Turkey on the menu.
In an interview with DW, Juncker adds that “Bulgaria can play an important role in deepening relations” with Turkey. “At any rate, we are interested in working with Turkey as a close partner,” adds the EU executive chief, suggesting that even though Turkey seemed to be moving away from Europe, is now approaching Europe again. “As a neighbor, Bulgaria can use its close ties with Turkey to intensify dialogue and act as a mediator and translator. It’s always better to talk with each other than about each other.”