Bulgarian PM Borisov has expressed high optimism about the last EU Council meeting for 2011. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria in EU | December 9, 2011, Friday
Bulgaria has thrown its weight behind European Council President Herman Van Rompuy's proposal for a quick reform of the Lisbon Treaty protocols, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov declared before the start of EU leaders' summit in Brussels.
The last European Council summit for 2011, which started Thursday night, is viewed as crucial for the EU on a number of issues, but most importantly on the fate of the euro, the euro zone, and the debt crisis.
In Borisov's words, the changes proposed by Van Rompuy in Protocol 12 of the Lisbon Treaty aimed at agreeing a "new fiscal compact" without holding a referendum or ratification by the parliaments of each euro zone country are the best because they would avoid a long period of ratification that would affect negatively the international financial markets.
Borisov's position might be considered as somewhat surprising since the plan of the European Council President ran counter to the initiative for a comprehensive EU treaty reform that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have put forth but this is not the first time Bulgaria has disagreed with Merkozy's Franco-Germany – as it has already stood against their notion for harmonized tax policies within the euro zone.
"The rich countries that are paying the most for the anti-crisis bailouts can have greater claims but under the conditions of economic interdependence, especially in trade, we need to be able to take part in meetings. Bulgaria insists to be able to partake in the process of decision making in the EU, and that these decisions should not be made solely within the euro zone," Borisov stressed further in Brussels, as cited by BNR.
The Bulgarian PM expressed clear-cut confidence in the survival and protection of the euro when asked by reporters if he had a "Plan B" in the event of a euro zone breakup.
"I am convinced that the euro won't collapse, and people shouldn't be afraid not because of anything else but because the euro is a currency which has already established itself in Europe for many years and a mechanism will be found to protect it in any case," Borisov stated.
He further expressed overall optimism about the outcome of the European Council meeting on all major issues.
"I am an optimist that everybody understands that our worst understanding will be better than a failure to reach any understanding," the Bulgarian state leader elaborated.
Borisov did say also that Bulgaria will join the euro zone once the latter "fixes its ways and principles that we are now applying anyway".
"The recipes that I have given are starting to happen one by one – we have been saying for a half a year now that the countries' constitutions should provide for a budget deficit limit of 3% of the GDP. The opposition in Bulgaria protested against this, and now all of Europe is talking about the "golden rule" of 3% budget deficit and 60% GDP," he stated.
Bulgaria's PM noted that during the summit of the European People's Party in Marseilles that preceded the EU Council meeting he send a clear message about fiscal discipline.
"[Bulgarian] President Georgi Parvanov was calling for raising the budget deficit only a year ago, and you've seen where the countries that espoused such policies are right now – Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and unfortunately some of the big European states," Borisov said.
He backed in principle the idea for creating a European credit rating agency but also expressed the satisfaction of his Cabinet with the work of the global credit rating agencies – Moody's, Fitch, and Standard and Poor's.
Last but not leased, Borisov expressed optimism that, among other issues, the EU Council will make a quick decision on Bulgaria and Romania's stalled Schengen Agreement bid.