The Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds met on January 21, 2011 with the representatives of Bulgaria in the European Parliament. The discussion was attended by MEPs Christian Vigenin, Iliana Yotova, Antonia Parvanova, Andrey Kovachev, Stanimir Ilchev and Ivaylo Kalfin. The Chair of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva took part in the meeting as well as the Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantin Dimitrov. The Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on European Affairs Monica Panayotova was moderator.
Konstatin Dimitrov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of the Council for European Affairs with the Ministers Council noticed that the restoration of the regular dialogue between members of the Bulgarian Parliament and Bulgarian MEPs is a good initiative. "One of the first topics where we expect support and cooperation is the issue of Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area. Our ambition is, in dialogue with other member states, to reach a political solution for the country's accession to Schengen by the end of 2011”, he said. “The dialogue is difficult, but with the concerted efforts of the representatives of Bulgaria in the European Parliament and with complete mobilization, this can be achieved”.
"We will work on 6 EU legislative acts. The EP proposal for regulations to improve the macro economic imbalances is very important, "he added. In his words, this is a new piece of legislation contributing to the fiscal discipline in the EU. "I have no doubt that the Bulgarian Parliament will be able to ratify the proposed changes of the Lisbon Treaty in a timely manner", said Konstantin Dimitrov.
The Bulgarian MEPs introduced the committee with their priorities for 2011. The participants discussed the new possibilities for synergy between the European and national parliaments. Violeta Simeonova-Stanicic emphasized the enhanced role of the headed by her Information Office of the European Parliament in Bulgaria, after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.
After the meeting, an European Information Space was inaugurated at the National Assembly. The initiative came from to the Chair of the Committee on European Affairs, Monica Panayotova. She told the journalists that she hopes the European spirit of the place to inspire the Bulgarian parliamentarism in a more European style. Monica Panayotova noted the committee members and MEPs have aqreed to hold regular meetings every six months before the start of each new EU presidency to discuss the upcoming priorities. She also noted that among the topics discussed was Bulgaria's accession to Schengen in 2011. The member of the European parliament from the ruling party GERB, Andrey Kovachev added that among the priorities of our representatives in the EP was also the opening of the labor markets for Bulgarians in 10 member countries, the Black Sea cooperation and the Roma integration.