The Bulgarian Diaspora position in Ukraine; the initiatives to introduce Bulgarian language learning in the schools attended by children of Bulgarian origin; the cultural and educational activities; facilitation of our compatriots’ access to Bulgarian education and to our country’s labor market – these have been the items debated in the Embassy of Bulgaria to Kiev today, between Bilyana Raeva, Member of the European Parliament (ALDE-NMSS) and representatives of the Association of the Bulgarians in Ukraine. The meeting had been initiated by Bilyana Raeva, who visits Kiev for an ad-hoc sitting of the Alliance of the Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Bureau, as announced by the MEP’s office.
Another item discussed during the meeting in the Embassy of Bulgaria, in which Krasimira Shopova, the cultural attachA� took part, was the strategy of the government concerning the Bulgarians abroad. Special attention had been paid to the measures to be taken by the government for the process of education for the traditional Bulgarian communities, the easing of consular services and the ethnical Bulgarians’ opportunities to settle and work in Bulgaria with the so-called green cards.
To facilitate the integration of Bulgarians living abroad into the public life of the country is one of the chief priorities in the work of Bilyana Raeva. She insists that obstacles should be removed and the traditional Bulgarian communities should be acquiring Bulgarian citizenship in an intensified procedure; that a National Program for education in Bulgaria for Bulgarian origin students should be established as a Bulgarian version of the Polish Program “Polonia”.
The ALDE Executive Bureau meeting, lasting till February 15th 2008, in which Bilyana Raeva is taking part, was organized in Kiev, because Ukraine is one of the states of priority for the European Neighbourhood policy. The ALDE delegation from the European Parliament presented during the meetings a set of measures, recommended by the EC, to allow Ukraine opening to the European Community, including the long expected visa regime easing for Ukrainian citizens
At the working meetings with high ranking Ukrainian politicians, the EP Members discussed upon the political situation in Ukraine, the membership in NATO, the elaboration of a concrete EC – Ukraine action plan, the single energy policy of Europe, the Black sea regional economic partnership, relations with Russia as well as visas items. The Members of the European Parliament met with Grigorii Nemiria, Ukraine’s vice prime minister on the integration with Europe and with the Commissioner responsible for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
The leader of the delegation and ALDE Vice-Chairwoman Adina-Ioana Valean shared with the Ukrainian politicians during the meetings, that the visa regime easing with Ukraine that will be enforced in March 2008, should be applied to its utmost, to allow the citizens feel the results of the collaboration between Ukraine and European Union. Additionally she said, that ALDE continues working hardly for the complete removal of the visa regime between the EU Member States and Ukraine.