The five parliamentary groups read out declarations at the opening of Parliament’s new session on Friday. GERB Floor Leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the new session is of key importance in view of Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency in the first half of 2018. The National Assembly will play a very important role as it will host six events. He stressed that it was on Bulgaria’s insistence that the Western Balkans became one of the priorities of the EU Presidency Trio of Estonia, Bulgaria, Austria. He stated that GERB will firmly counter any attempts to denigrate the state bodies for political purposes. “The opposition should realize that [spreading] fake news about the political opponent is not the way to win popular approval”, he said. BSP for Bulgaria Floor Leader Kornelia Ninova noted that the new session was opening on the eve of two important events: Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency and the drafting of the national budget for 2018. She pledged her group’s support for the policies of Bulgaria’s EU Presidency because this is in the national interest. BSP for Bulgaria will propose a new Bulgarian Development Bank Bill to refocus it to SMEs. Ninova also stressed that her group sets a high priority on anti-corruption legislation. Addressing the legislature on behalf of the United Patriots Parliamentary Group, its Floor Leader Volen Siderov cited the border fence against illegal migrants and the increase of the minimum pension as examples of constructive and effective thinking with a tangible result. Siderov insisted on acknowledgment of the coalition Government’s achievements, citing the easing of administrative burden for companies. “The Presidency of the EU Council requires a new vision and a new governance formula based on fundamental consensus”, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) Floor Leader Mustafa Karadayi said, reading a declaration on behalf of his parliamentary group. According to the MRF leader, the new parliamentary session has a serious law-making agenda, and the last stage of preparations for the Presidency of the EU Council is forthcoming. Volya calls on Parliament to focus on two essential things during the present session: improving people’s living standards and curbing corruption, Plamen Hristov MP said in a statement on behalf of the Volya Parliamentary Group.
The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the EU Delegation to Albania held the Conference