a�?Bankera�? Newspaper, an interview of Spasiana Kirilova
Ms Raeva, what is your comment on the events that happened in the NMSS during the last week?
-The only comment I might have is that solving disagreements in this way is of no use for anyone.
You are member of the European Parliament for six months already. Did you easily get adapted to this political role?
- For many years I have been working with the European institutions and this specific working speed is not something unfamiliar to me. We have good collaboration with the other Bulgarian members of the European Parliament and I am happy, that belonging to different parties does not have an impact on decisions and positions concerning our country. During the six months of working as members of the European Parliament we have already set up several initiatives, like the visit of the Bulgarian physicians in Strasbourg, the position on the milk sector alterations problems; we also defended the position of the Bulgarian way of spelling “euro.
You are the only NMSS representative in the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). Are you feeling lonely?
-No, because I have the support of the Alliance as a whole. I was nominated and elected for Chairperson to the Interparliamentary Delegation of the European Economic Area. I am working jointly with my ALDE colleagues on reports on the demographic future of Europe, on the safe and healthy working conditions, on the consumers’ protection. They supported me also for the letter I wrote to the Commissioner on Environment Stavros Dimas. In the letter, together with representatives from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Litva, Poland, Slovakia and Malta we asked for reconsideration of the carbon dioxide emissions quotas fixed by the European Commission for the period 2008 -2012. During the week I have interpellated to Commissioner on Environment Stavros Dimas on the reduced quotas for Bulgaria and I am expecting a reply to my interpellation at the next Parliamentary sitting. I am the only NMSS representative in ALDE and I have to take active part in everything that is happening.
Why could NMSS win no other seats in Strasbourg?
-The main reason lays in the fact that the European Parliament elections in Bulgaria coincided with activities of populist and nationalist political forces of exceptional extensity and scale. The Bulgarian voters had been to a certain extent deceived by promises, that our representatives in the European Parliament would be following a more aggressive line of behavior. Besides, these had been the first elections for members of the European Parliament in the Bulgarian history, therefore the road forward needed to be traced.
Do you feel Bulgarians could be disappointed by the membership in the European Union, as it happened in most of the newly accepted countries?
- Many positive aspects exist, that can be made use of to the maximum. Examples can be given with the opportunity of access to common market, of participation in the Community Programs, of European Funds absorption, of our companies’ competitiveness enhancement, of quality of commodities and services improvement, of our living standard level rising. It is difficult to sense the practical benefits of membership from the very beginning. And in fact it merely depends on our capability to make the best use of our accession to the European Union.
In Bulgaria you are often organizing meeting with representatives of the business. What do these people expect from our membership in the European Union?
- The business needs access to one of the biggest and most solvent markets in the world the European one, disposing of above 480 millions of consumers. The companies, the administration, the non-governmental sector should focus for the coming years on the main item – making the best use of the Structural and the Cohesive funds along with those provided for the rural regions and fishery development. The seven Operational Programs will be bringing to Bulgaria 6.6 billions Euros till 2013, and for the agriculture development – above 3 billions Euros, whose beneficiaries will be mainly the business representatives in Bulgaria. In case we fail to make the possibly most rational use of them, we shall lose the opportunity for a fast growth of our economy. And what we need to reach the level of development of the other European states in a short period of time is namely the fast growth of our economy.
Do we have the necessary preparation for the full-scale absorption of the European funds?
- Better is always possible. We did have the necessary time for preparation. During the last several years the administration, the municipalities, the non-governmental sector and the business had the option of working with funds from the EU pre-accession programs and to get prepared. There are many experts in Bulgaria who are aware of the methodology and the details of the programs. Ministries as well as non-governmental and business organizations – BCCI and BIA, etc., as well as the associations of municipalities, are regularly organizing seminars and trainings on practical programs’ application. The number of projects submitted is already a large one. I myself often organize trainings, information days and consultations on Operational programs opportunities to apply.
As it has been noted, you are chairing the Joint Parliamentary Committee to the European Economic Area and the Delegation for relations with Switzerland, Iceland and Norway. Could this be of any help for Bulgaria?
- The Committee has activities in various spheres that might be of our interest and use. At the last sitting, for example, we have discussed and adopted resolutions on climate change and relevant measures; we considered options on joint projects and use of renewable energy sources. Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, though not being EU Member States, are among the strongest economies in the world. They will be granting about 41 millions Euros to Bulgaria to be used for different projects.
Since when do you have an information office in Sofia? Who visits the office, which are the most frequently asked questions?
- The office in Sofia is one of the 12 offices to be opened in the country as part of the information network to be built till the mid of next year. It was officially opened a month ago, but in fact it has been working since I was elected for a member of the European Parliament. Three people are working in it – an assistant to coordinate the rest of the offices and the organizing of trainings and seminars; an assistant responsible for the communications and the public relations and an assistant responsible foe the political matters and analyzes. My official website is www.bilyanaraeva.eu. It offers information on my activities and my work as member of the European Parliament, on the projects I have taken commitment about, on the spheres I give support to, on news about funds and operational programs. The largest proportion of visitors is interested in EU funding opportunities. They are looking for consultation and connection with experts to be helped prepare eligible projects.
Do you feel alienated from the Bulgarian politics?
- No, on the contrary. I am keeping myself constantly in touch with Bulgaria; usually between Friday and Saturday, when I am in Bulgaria, I spend most of my time to meet people in different places in the country. I am observing closely the work of the National Parliament and of the Government and we are working jointly on different items. I am taking part in the sitting of the European Affairs Committee of the National Assembly and other committees then, when positions need to be elaborated or options have to be consulted or discussed upon. Quite often I am coordinating the politics and positions that I have to defend – like for example with the Ministry of Environment and Water, concerning the harmful emissions; with the Bulgarian Academy of Science concerning the spelling of “Euro”; with the Ministry of State Administration and Administrative Reform, with the Bulgarian National Bank, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Do you expect that there will be forced parliamentary elections?
-No, I do not. If no serious prerequisites exist for such a move, forced elections could be dangerous for Bulgaria. If an event like this occurs, a vacuum is possible to be formed, and at that period the joint politics and projects with the European Union might be interrupted. This could detain the development of our country. All the Bulgarian politicians are well aware of this and therefore appeals for forced elections prove to be populist and groundless. best place to buy cialis online canada. Flomaxtra pbs price