The National Assembly President Mrs Tsetska Tsacheva conferred on 16 October 2012 with the head of the House of Europe (Civil Organization, which explores the cultural dimension of the European project) located in Paris, Mrs Catherine Lalumiere. Mrs Lalumere who is former Vice-President of the European Parliament (2001-2004) and Secretary- General of the Council of Europe (1989-1994) is on a visit to Bulgaria on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the membership of Bulgaria in the Council of Europe. The meeting was attended by the Chairperson of the National Assembly’s Permanent Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Mrs Dzhema Grozdanova.
The chair of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva recalled the solemn event of granting membership to Bulgaria in the Council of Europe back in 1992 and added that 20 years later Bulgaria is not only member of the that prestigious organization but of the European Union as well. “A lot of things have changed in these years but it is understandable that people have yet greater expectations”, she said.
Tsetska Tsacheva stressed that she awaits an objective report and assessment of the progress of Bulgaria on the part of the PACE’s monitoring Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States. She mentioned that she has met, recently, with the rapporteur of the committee, Mr. Luka Volonte, who has informed her that the preliminary report would be ready by the month of November.
Catherine Lalumiere, who currently heads the House of Europe in Paris noticed that after the democratic changes she had come regularly to Bulgaria and had witnessed each time an ever greater progress in the good direction for the Bulgarian people. There is a sense of freedom in the country now, which was apparent at my meeting with the Bulgarian students yesterday – they are full of optimism. After I saw them I told myself: “the page has turned”, Catherine Lalumiere added.
The Nobel Price for Peace awarded to the European Union will play the role of stimulant, reminding about the essence of the European project, underscored Catherine Lalumiere. The European project is not an economic project, but a structure based on certain philosophy and principles and its basic aim is to attain peace through democracy and respect for human rights, said Lalumiere.
On her part Tsetska Tsacheva noted that a balance between the wisdom and the experience of the old EU member-countries and the enthusiasm of the new ones should be found. For me such a combination would be the best for the revival of the spirit of Europe”, she added.
Both Catherine Lalumiere and Tsetska Tsacheva agreed that the young generation of European citizens are carriers of the creative energy – so important and useful currently for the European Union and the European