We take the Presidency as a national and non-partisan cause, which will enable us to prove ourselves as a prepared, constructive and trustworthy leader of the forthcoming key debates on the future of the Union, said Speaker of Parliament Tsveta Karayancheva in her welcome address at the ceremony in Ivan Vazov National Theatre for the official opening of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
We are faced with the serious responsibility to work towards consensus decision-making in the European Union, said Tsveta Karayancheva. She expressed her confidence that Bulgaria will have a successful rotating presidency of the Council of the EU and for six months will be the key driver for implementing the European agenda.
As Speaker of the Bulgarian Parliament I would like to emphasise that we MPs are aware of the significance of the Parliamentary Dimension, an essential and integral component of our first presidency, said Tsveta Karayancheva. We have the political will to keep encouraging the Bulgarian government in its role of an honest and impartial mediator between the EU member states to achieve concrete results as regards the European strategic priorities, both within the six months of the presidency and in the context of the 18-month political programme of the Estonia-Bulgaria-Austria trio, she added. In her words, the Parliamentary Dimension provides an opportunity for active participation of MPs in the discussions on topical issues of the European agenda. We will exchange best institutional practices with all national parliaments in the EU and the European Parliament and engage in parliamentary diplomacy at the highest level, said Tsveta Karayancheva. To succeed in our efforts, we count on the close cooperation with European institutions and other member states, she emphasised.
The Speaker of Parliament recalled that the slogan of the Bulgarian Presidency “United we stand strong” was inspired by the slogan on the building of the Parliament. The Bulgarian Parliamentary Dimension will follow the leading principle of the Presidency towards unity and solidarity on the pathway to future-oriented real results, said Tsveta Karayancheva. In the coming months, the Bulgarian MPs will encourage effective and intensive inter-parliamentary cooperation and contribute to the formation of key pan-European policies.
The official ceremony began with the national anthem of the Republic of Bulgaria sung by the Children’s Choir at the Bulgarian National Radio.
The event was launched by Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency Lilyana Pavlova. For us, Bulgarians, the accession to the EU 11 years ago was a dream come true. We are proud and confident to take over the responsibility of the presidency of the Council of the EU, said Lilyana Pavlova.
Welcome addresses were delivered by President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov, Speaker of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
After that the Children’s Choir sang the anthem of the European Union. The cultural programme included performances of Joan Kukuzel the Angel-Voiced chamber ensemble, Eva Quartet vocal acapella group, Stoyan Yankulov and Chinari troupe, Bulgare national folklore ensemble, Bulgara instrumental band, and Chris and Velin duet.