Bulgaria supports the priorities of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union to deliver a fair, green and digital recovery to Europe. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Petko Doykov emphasised this during a video conference with Portugal’s Secretary of State for European Affairs Ana Paula Zacarias. “It is indeed time to deliver,” he added, referring to the motto of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU that began on 1 January 2021.
Ana Paula Zacarias presented the Presidency priorities: promoting Europe’s recovery, cohesion and values, achieving resilience of the EU economy through the European Green Deal, digital transformation and strengthening the Union’s strategic autonomy.
“Bulgaria backs the designation of the green transition as one of the pillar of the EU’s economic recovery from the pandemic caused by the coronavirus. We support and are actively working for the achievement of the EU target of a carbon neutral economy by 2050,” Deputy Minister Doykov stressed. The ambitious objectives that the EU is setting itself in reducing greenhouse emissions must be supported by a just as ambitious framework ensuring a just and socially balanced transition.
Deputy Minister Doykov pointed out that Portugal is taking over the Presidency of the EU Council at a particularly difficult moment, when the COVID-19 pandemic and its social and economic consequences pose an unprecedented challenges calling for resolute and comprehensive action. “Europe has demonstrated that it is united and can act decisively at times of crisis,” the Deputy Minister said.
Brexit, the EU’s relations with third countries: the Western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership, the US, India, China, and the countries of Africa, also figured on the agenda of the video conference.
Petko Doykov singled out Brexit as one of the challenges of 2020 and welcomed the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. “The pursuit of the future relations will definitely require from Member States to remain united. We count on the Portuguese Presidency to continue to work for the promotion of this unity,” he added.
The sides also discussed the European perspective of the countries of the Western Balkans. The Portuguese Secretary of State expressed support for EU enlargement. At the same time, the Portuguese Presidency is aware that this is a consensual process.