The Bulgarian people has historic traditions in the hospitality towards people who are in trouble. The Chairman of the National Assembly, Mihail Mikov, addressed with these words the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres at their meeting in the National Assembly.
He gave as example art.61 of the Tarnovo Constitution: “every slave, albeit his religious affiliation, once on Bulgarian soil becomes free”. He gave as present to his guest the facsimile edition of the protocols of the Constituent Assembly of 1879. We are obliged to bring to mind to the present generations this behest of the founders - every politician is in charge to convince people that there are values that prevail over the material needs, even in times of social and economic crisis, he noticed.
The chairman of the National Assembly thanked the High Commissariat for Refugees for the help extended to Bulgaria and underscored that the migrants represent challenge not only for a small country like ours, but for the entire European Union and for the solidarity in the Union.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres defined the meetings he has held in Bulgaria as extremely useful and effective. He noted the Commissariat’s intention is to develop a special program aimed at enlarging the capacity of the country’s Refugee Agency and to work on the system for protection of migrants, including with NGOs. He stated as soon as next week a team of the Commissariat is to come to Bulgaria and hold meetings with representatives of the Interior Ministry in order to set out concrete measures.
Mihail Mikov and Antonio Guterres were firm that the effective tackling of the refugees’ wave required the coordinated efforts at the level of the Commissariat, the European Union and the institutions.
The speaker of the parliament added the cause of the refugees should be made familiar through the media and the latter should educate the public to respect those who were forced to leave their own country not by their proper will. He added the right of asylum is a fundamental human right.
The EU commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, took part in the meeting.