Bulgaria to Demand New EC Monitoring Mechanism for all Member StatesBulgaria in EU | January 13, 2014, Monday // 18:03| views
Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin, photo by BGNES
The co-operation and verification mechanism (CVM) of the European Commission will remain topical during Greece's EU presidency, according to Bulgaria's Foreign Minister.
Speaking Monday during a discussion on the impact of Greece's EU presidency on Bulgaria, Vigenin suggested that the issue of a new common EU mechanism had to be brought up during the term in office of the next European Commission, adding that the new mechanism had to keep track of the developments in the spheres of justice and home affairs in all EU member states.
He emphasized that the topic of monitoring had to be broached after the establishment of a new European Parliament and a new European Commission, adding that there had to be guarantees that it was fulfilling the purpose for which it had been designed.
Commenting on the upcoming CVM report on Bulgaria, Vigenin, as cited by dnevnik.bg, noted that the government did not expect excellent marks, taking into account that it would span parts of terms in office of two ordinary governments and one caretaker government.
Bulgaria's Foreign Minister emphasized that the criticism would be taken seriously.
Speaking after the event, Vigenin told journalists that it was yet to be established whether the monitoring mechanism was really efficient.
He admitted, however, that this was hardly likely to become a topic of discussion in a year of elections when a new EP and EC were to be formed.
Vigenin stressed that Bulgaria would demand a common monitoring mechanism, be it less comprehensive, which would be applicable to all EU Member States.
He suggested that the new mechanism would be a better solution because it would show the state of each and every EU Member State.
Vigenin argued that Bulgaria and Romania had become the focus of attention, adding that the other EU countries had not reached such a state of perfection so as to afford to only evaluate, thereby deflecting attention away from them.
The Foreign Minister went on to say that many of the highlights on the agenda of Greece's EU presidency coincided with Bulgaria's priorities, which was confirmed by the Greek Ambassador, Dimosthenis Stoidis.
The two outlined priority topics such as fighting youth unemployment, regional cooperation, and expansion.
Vigenin and Stoidis underscored the need for a common EU policy on refugees, adding that the problem affected the bloc as a whole, not only Member States which formed the external border of the EU, such as Bulgaria and Greece.
As regards the Schengen topic, which is not on the list of priorities during Greece's EU presidency, Stoidis vowed that Athens would work to step up coordination between EU countries.
He assured that Greece appreciated Bulgaria's technical preparedness to join the border-free Schengen area.
Vigenin claimed that Bulgaria and Romania attracted comments which were often unrelated to the Schengen topic, adding that the protracted postponement of the Schengen accession set a precedent in the EU.
Bulgaria's Foreign Minister pointed out that the topic was to be discussed with the new EC panel, adding that no deadline could be set for Bulgaria's Schengen accession.