President Plevneliev: Bulgaria Backs EU-US Talks on TTIPPolitics | January 14, 2015, Wednesday // 21:20| views
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev (R) and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (L) met Wednesday in Sofia. Photo by BGNES
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond have discussed EU reform and bilateral cooperation within EU and NATO.
At a Wednesday meeting in Sofia, Plevneliev and Hammond backed fast track measures for completing the single market so as to make the EU more competitive after a period of economic and financial crisis and to trigger economic growth and create jobs.
The British Foreign Secretary spoke in favor of EU reform aimed at increasing the efficiency of EU institutions, alleviating the regulatory burden, and at restructuring the labor market, according to the press office of the Bulgarian President.
Hammond claimed that EU Member States had to adopt concrete measures for the implementation of this ambitious goal.
He suggested that the EU had to reform itself to retain the trust of EU citizens and to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Plevneliev pointed out that Bulgaria backed EU-US talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in the context of efforts aimed at achieving a more competitive Europe.
Hammond noted that successful talks on the TTIP would allow Europe to retain its position on global markets amid heightened global competition.
Plevneliev and Hammond discussed energy security in Europe and Southeast Europe in particular.
The two stressed the need for fast track diversification of energy routes and sources and agreed that the Investment Plan of the European Commission could be used for the purpose.
Bulgaria’s head of state made clear that the country would rely on Britain’s support for its application for EU funding for projects for interconnected energy networks.
Hammond brought up the issue of Bulgaria’s commitment to increase defense spending stated at NATO’s Wales Summit in September 2014.
Plevneliev agreed that the defense spending stipulated in the 2015 budget clashed with Bulgaria’s financial commitment to NATO and voiced hopes that the authorities would provide additional resources for the upgrade of the Bulgarian Armed Forces.
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