Bulgarian Environment Minister Praises Controversial Green Policies

Environment | February 20, 2014, Thursday // 10:50|  views

Bulgarian Environment Minister Iskra Mihaylova. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Environment Minister says Azerbaijan can learn from the rich Bulgarian experience in waste management.

Minister Iskra Mihaylova's comment came during an official visit of the Prime Minister's delegation to Baku, where the two countries are seeking closer ties.

"We can show that investments in both waste depot and waste processing are needed", Mihailova explained, also insisting on conserving biodiversity and national parks as a possible point of cooperation between the two countries, the economic website Investor.bg reports.

Bulgaria, however, has been harshly criticized by the European Commission in both fields, for not complying with the EU Waste Management Directive, but also for building a wind farm in an environmentally protected area.

Infringement procedures have been started against Bulgaria on both occasions. Inspections commissioned by Brussels have shown that over 100 illegal dunghills can be found throughout Bulgaria, whereas the Operational Programme Environment has resulted in only two waste depots.

A penal procedure was also decided upon in 2013 due to the construction process of wind farms in Kaliakra, a north-eastern region in Bulgaria noted for its high biodiversity. EU filed the legal action after years of promises by the Bulgarian authorities that a ban on construction would be imposed within the area.

The 2-day visit to Azerbaijan of Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski and his ministerial delegation continues on Thursday with a meeting with President Ilham Aliyev, PM Artur Rasizade and Parliament Speaker Ogtay Asadov.

The two countries are discussing cooperation in the fields of economy, energy, culture, and investment. Meetings with Bulgarians living in Azerbaijan have also taken place.

Last week, Economy Minister Dragomir Stoynev also visited Azerbaijan and confirmed Bulgaria's interest in gas supplies from the Caspian Sea.

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Tags: iskra mihaylova, environment, azerbaijan, Baku, EU, waste management, European Commission, Plamen Oresharski, Ilham Aliyev, Dragomir Stoynev


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