Boyko Borissov For the Guardian: I Have Been Around the World and I Can Say that There is no Better Place to Live in the EUBulgaria in EU | May 15, 2019, Wednesday // 21:08| views
I have been around the world and I can say that there is no better place to live in the EU, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper.
At a time when some Central and Eastern European politicians benefit from the hostility against Brussels, the Bulgarian prime minister has another approach.
Borissov’s answers reflect a deft policy of not offending any of his European partners, eschewing anti-Brussels rhetoric and preferring instead to highlight the benefits that European integration has brought Bulgaria since it acceded to the bloc in 2007.
Asked about the different visions of the future of Europe proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron and Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, Borissov did not criticize either Macron's idea of a progressive and integrated continent nor the Orban model of strong sovereign states.
"We have a Bulgarian vision, and in some aspects it coincides with that of Macron or Orban, and in others it does not," he said.
Borissov carefully balances with his western partners and with Russia.
Bulgaria was one of the few EU countries not to expel any Russian diplomats in solidarity with Britain over the assassination attempt on Sergei Skripal last year, something that seemed particularly strange when it transpired that one of the Russian agents allegedly involved may have been in Bulgaria around the time a local arms dealer was poisoned four years ago.
Asked whether Russia is a strategic partner or a strategic threat to Bulgaria, Borissov did not give a direct answer.
“Your questions are always dichotomies,” he complained. “It would be an absolute mistake to claim that Russia is an enemy or a threat. At the same time, my government and political party are 100% aligned with the EU-Atlantic organisations.”
The full interview, you can read here.