Ms Raeva, you have already almost 15 days of practice in the political field. How do you appreciate the new challenge?
Every new undertaking carries some difficulties. Lots of good things should not have happened if obstacles had made us give up. I believe, given my knowledge and experience, that I can be useful for the prosperity of Bulgaria. Europe is not something remote and abstract. The EU is here, at home. Funding coming here from EU is used for roads reconstruction in Bulgaria, not in Brussels. The agriculture subsidies are meant to support the Bulgarian producers, not the Belgian ones. Besides, helping Bulgaria, EU helps itself. If now we have a passive attitude towards EU, in the future we are going to become even poorer. This makes it important for us on May 20th to go and vote for our European future. This challenge is really a serious one.
NMSS is a peculiar party. Besides, lately, because of its participation in the triple coalition, its influence has lessened. Did you find it difficult to accept their proposal?
I would add that the peculiarity configures the charm of NMSS. There are few parties that can afford to undertake significant transformations when needed. In this sense, NBMSS is a party of the alteration. The positive alteration.
NMSS participation in the triple coalition was imperative. Few months were remaining till our accession to the EU (and we all remember that it might be postponed).These were months when a lot of work had to be done, when a lot of reforms had to be carried out. In 2005, more than never, Bulgaria needed stable government and parliamentary majority. The BSP and the MRF failed to form a government.
In regards of the significant strategic goal – the timely, qualified and deserved membership in EU – the NMSS neglected its short-term interests. To be in opposition might be more advantageous for us. But what would have happened to Bulgaria in that case? Our movement disposes of lots of exceptionally well-trained experts on European affairs. This is the reason why NMSS is greatly trusted by the EU partners. For that time trust had been mandatory for Bulgaria. From the distance of the time past, hand on heart we could say, that for Bulgaria, our joining the coalition had been a useful move. I treat my nomination pragmatically. As you noted, NMSS is a peculiar party. I would call it “attractive” in the positive meaning .NMSS is very attractive for the young experts. Maybe it is due to the fact, that it is a party of the concrete deeds. The typical political prattling is not a distinctive feature for NMSS. There are practical tasks – to defend the EU budget on agriculture, for instance. I do not see political aspects in this issue. The interests of the agricultural producers have to be defended. This is an action. This is not politics. Our party members and our supporters are dynamic and modern people. They are modern people in the sense that they are aware not only with the current processes, but also with the future tendencies in the economics and in the politics. I shall make the necessary efforts to prove, that the people who count on me have not admitted mistake with their choice.
You have a command of 6 languages, how do you assess the political language hardship?
It is true; the language spoken by the politicians is often inarticulate for the people. Lots of rules have to be observed. At present, during our first European elections campaign, the political talking is almost similar everywhere. In most of the cases the things said are too general, and as a result they are vague. What we are trying to do in NMSS is to speak understandable and interesting political language. Some things exist so obviously clear, that they need not to be spoken about.
It is clear, for instance, that Bulgaria needs the EU financial assistance. It explains why the participation in the European Parliament elections is directly connected to the pocket of every one of us. The financing for the agriculture, for ecology, for infrastructure, etc. comes here, in Bulgaria. It pays wages. It helps opening new working places. The investments in roads and in ecology are attracting new investments and they help saving money. At the end all this comes to your refrigerator.
A well expressed and charming presence of ladies is outlined in NMSS – Meglena Kuneva, Gergana Grancharova, you. How do you asses this in political plan?
It is obvious that women are the modern tendencies heralds in the politics. This proves to be a world trend already. It is quite possible that the next presidents of USA and France should be women – Hillary Clinton and SA�golA?ne Royal. Last year Mrs. Michelle Bachelet became president of Chile for a first time.
Entering the Bulgarian political scene in 2001, NMSS introduced a new culture – the culture of increasing the number of women in the state governing. At the National Assembly by that time ladies comprised about 50%, the Council of Ministers also underwent considerable transformations. What matters in fact is not the male/female correlation in NMSS, but the competence of the people. As it was already mentioned, participation in the EP elections is closely connected with the pocket of every Bulgarian citizen. The more competent the people we elect, the better they will be able to defend our interests.
Undoubtedly, Meglena Kuneva and Gergana Grancharova have contributed greatly for our integration in Europe. It seems to me, that it is more due to the fact that they are exceptional experts, than to the fact that they are women. The contribution to these processes of Solomon Passi, Milen Velchev and of course of all the men in NMSS is not smaller and it is just because they are competent and do their jobs properly. The attractive characteristics of NMSS lay in the fact, that the tsar has the talent to gather to his team capable and accomplished personalities, people with ideas and knowledge.
It happens usually, that the citizens in the newly accepted states start to get disappointed after the accession in EU. It happens when the expectations exceed the opportunities. Is this going to happen in Bulgaria too?
We should not attach mythological features to EU, though it is really the greatest political project of the past and of the present century. One step divides the idea of the European Union and the mythology about it. The “great expectations” strategy, the idealization of an EU capable to find solutions to all the problems is not a worthy one. Europe is not the road to Paradise. At the same time Europe is a wise and useful economic and social project. Our membership is already a fact of the present day. The future lays in our ability to make maximum use of the mutual assistance mechanism called European Union. What is going to happen from now on depends on the will of the Bulgarian citizens. I would wish the European elections campaign in Bulgaria to turn into a campaign showing the capability of our people to show the desire of reconsidering its future.