Solomon Passy: I’m starting to think that the East has already become the future of the West
28/06/2017

Solomon Passy’s book, which analysts define as a history of the transition in our country, was also presented in Veliko Tarnovo. The publication is called “Articles, opinions, comments, interviews outside the minutes”, and the meeting with the author was hosted by the Regional Library “P. R. Slaveykov ”. The author of the book talks about it – the journalist Maxim Minchev, who is also the general director of BTA. The book is published on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the President of the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria.

“In my desire to compile this book, I had three powerful allies. The privilege of working with Solomon Passy most of the time. The memory that sealed the long but enthusiastic path of realized dreams and causes. The conviction that gathered together, his positions, opinions, comments and ideas would be not only interesting for people, but also useful for those who are engaged or intend to engage in politics, “said Maxim Minchev. According to him, the book is a textbook on politics and a guide for politicians.

Solomon Passy is a politician, diplomat and international relations expert. Founder and chairman of the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria. Minister of Foreign Affairs of our country in the period 2001-2005, Member of Parliament, member of four Bulgarian expeditions to Antarctica in the period 1993-2005, scientist in the field of computer science.

Solomon Passy is the man who in 1990 proposed Bulgaria to become a member of NATO – an idea then met with ridicule by the majority in parliament. He is one of the guardians of the visit of the late Pope John Paul II to clear the name of our country from the so-called “Bulgarian trace”. He is actively working for our accession to the EU. In 2004, the Bulgarian chaired the OSCE.

In the spring of 2008, Solomon and Gergana Passy presented to the European Commission, the EU Presidency and the EU institutions the idea of ​​standardizing all mobile chargers. The structures of the EU, the World GSM Association and the Union of “World Telecom” accept their justified proposal, which is in force since January 2011, and 3 years later becomes part of European legislation. As a result of their policy, every mobile phone now has USB. This will save more than 20 million tonnes of e-waste and CO2 emissions a year and will help significantly in the fight against global warming.

In 2011, Solomon and Gergana Passy, ​​in a letter to the EC, wanted free, wireless and wired internet to be guaranteed in public places in the European Union. According to them, WI-FI must be a new freedom of the EU, along with the free movement of people, goods, capital and services. For Bulgaria, they proposed to adopt the rule to issue Act 16 in construction only in the presence of free internet. “I am happy that we managed to get this idea through the European institutions and it is even backed by money. The EU has allocated 120m euros to build wi-fi networks between 6,000 and 8,000 municipalities in member states. I want to encourage the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo and all smaller municipalities in the district to apply for this money and to create a wi-fi network for the Internet. We are really satisfied that this is the second consecutive policy that Bulgaria has managed to pursue through the EU, and this is something extremely practical for every citizen of Europe, “said the former Foreign Minister.

Solomon Passy is also the initiator of the project “Bulgaria and space law look to the future”, which examines the need for national space legislation in Bulgaria. The goals of the project are several – to regain the glory of space power, to create an educational program in space law and to study the legislation of other countries in space law. Another goal of the project is to promote scientific research of students from the Astronomical Observatory in Varna, who were awarded by NASA.

  • Mr. Passy, ​​how do Atlantic values ​​stand up in the years of global terrorism and the refugee wave?
  • Atlantic values ​​need round-the-clock protection. One of them is democracy, and what I am trying to convey to the younger ones and to my children is that it is not given for free, but must be earned. You have to fight for this good every day so that it does not disappear. Indeed, terrorism and all the other challenges of our time prove that we need unity, common protection and action, much more common policies than we do now. For example, we need a common European defense policy, which we have been talking about for 10 years. Since we joined the EU, the Atlantic Club has not stopped pleading for a common European defense. Moreover, we want Bulgaria to become the initiator and founder of this great European structure, in which we can accept new countries, and not knock on the door again to become members ex post facto. This is one of the key needs for the progress of our country. Another thing that I am very happy about is that the government seems to be fully mature, is our country’s membership in the Eurozone.

This is absolutely mandatory and was agreed on April 25, 2005. The agreement states that the EU and Bulgaria agree that we will become a member of the Eurozone and Schengen. So this is not such a difficult task and I am sorry that 12 years later this has not yet happened.

  • How did you imagine what our country would look like after NATO and EU membership?
  • To be honest, I did not have a very clear idea of ​​what Bulgaria would be like, but I had a basic understanding and that was that the future of the East is the West. I knew that Bulgaria would become like the West, because I was influenced in some way by Zbigniew Brzezinski’s theory of convergence. He preached the merging of the two systems, but even in his book this merging was not intended to take place in such a radical way – that most Eastern European countries would simply start living like those in the western part of the continent. I believed in this law until a few weeks ago when I visited Beijing. I had not been there for 10 years and I saw that there were no similarities between Beijing today and Beijing then. This city has become the cosmopolitan capital of the planet, somewhere between New York, London, Paris and Moscow. China is making an exceptional request to become the center of the planet. I am already beginning to wonder whether the West is still the future of the East or the East has already become the future of the West. So now I am in a state of hesitation.
  • 10 years after Bulgaria’s membership in the EU, what did our country gain and what did it lose?
  • Bulgaria has lost part of the chaos that reigned in our country, part of the chaos in which we lived, things that you are not at all sad to lose. What we won is very difficult to calculate? We have won the freedom to travel and study wherever we want in each of the 27 EU member states where we want universities, and in many universities and completely free of charge. We have gained this mobility, as well as the fact that future generations now speak several languages ​​fluently. We used to learn English as a foreign language, now we learn it as a common language. We have won the fact that Bulgaria can participate equally in the governance of Europe, even with our participation we have managed to impose specific policies in the digital sector. I do not want to talk about EU funds, because this is a distorted notion of the EU – that we are there to take some money and come out happy. This money is given to bring Bulgaria’s economy closer to that of the West. This is happening little by little, we are the poorest country in the EU, unfortunately, but if we were outside the EU, we would be much worse.
  • But why are we still the poorest country in the EU?
  • We should not compare this Bulgaria, in which we all live, with a hypothetical Bulgaria, which is not in the EU. That Bulgaria today could be something like Kosovo, Syria and others. If President Zhelev was not elected head of state on August 2, 1990, there were many different scenarios for Bulgaria’s development. I’m scared to even think what would have happened if it had been headed by a man like Slobodan Milosevic, for example. We are used to comparing Bulgaria with our ideal ideas about it – where we want it to be, and not comparing it where it could be.
  • And do you believe in the theories about the collapse of the EU?
  • No one is happy with the exit of Great Britain, but it creates momentum for the EU to unite. We were all startled by this and I see that within Europe there is a new dynamic for cohesion, for new common policies, and if we manage to use this moment in the right way, I think that Europe will come out much stronger than it was with Britain. inside. But, of course, we also have to think about how to attract the British, because they are an extremely valuable nation. We must do everything possible in some areas, even to deepen our cooperation with them.
  • As a politician, you constantly hold formal and informal meetings with world leaders. What remains hidden outside the protocol?
  • So little remains hidden outside the minutes, because in this dynamic and electronic world, things appear on Twitter even before they are put on the board of the relevant body. Often such a powerful and well-organized democracy as the American one first learns from Twitter what will happen at the highest level, even before there are requests for it.
  • Which of the world leaders keep the best feelings for Bulgaria?
  • In any case, the German politician Manfred Wörner was one of the most heartfelt supporters of Bulgaria and treated our country with great love. There are several different cases I have come across with him at international conferences. Only seeing the Bulgarian delegation against him, he never missed an opportunity to say something good about our country. The next world politician who spoke with divine reverence for Bulgaria was Pope John Paul II. At my first meeting with him in 1994, he delivered his speech to the Atlantic Club in brilliant Bulgarian and called Bulgaria the “Garden of Eastern Europe.” The Dalai Lama certainly treated Bulgaria with great certainty. But two other leaders also had a special relationship with our country – US President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

“And leaders at the other pole?”
“Margaret Thatcher is one such example.” When I met her in the 1990s, she told me, “Young man, I know you really want your country to join NATO, but you have to forget that for now.” I was shocked and asked why, and she explained to me that Poland had to join NATO first because “we sacrificed Poland by giving it to Hitler, and now we owe it.” So until Poland enters, we should not even think about NATO. She turned out to be right, Poland joined in 1999, and we five years later – in 2004.

  • What are your greatest achievements as Foreign Minister and what did you fail to achieve with the language of diplomacy?
  • There was a moment when I was very shocked to be foreign minister. Perhaps most shocked in my capacity as foreign minister was in December 2001, when I first landed in Tripoli to negotiate with Gaddafi for the release of Bulgarian nurses. Libya’s Deputy Foreign Minister met me at the airport. We sat in his car on the VIP and talked there for about two hours before she left. He greeted me with the words: “They are guilty. The death sentence is ready, we will shoot them. ” I was really crushed then. But the next day I had meetings with Gaddafi and saw that things were not so helpless.
    The two peak moments in my professional life were on April 2, 2004, when I led the delegation that raised the Bulgarian flag over NATO headquarters, and a year later on April 25, 2005, when we signed Bulgaria’s European Treaty in Luxembourg. .
    And I was most satisfied when I was very far from the spotlight. I was completely civilian as part of a mob. This was the crowd welcoming the Bulgarian medics on July 24, 2007 at Sofia Airport, and I waved to them from afar. This was the moment when I rested as a person, because seven human lives were saved. Three governments worked for this cause – Ivan Kostov’s, the Tsar’s and Sergei Stanishev’s, but in my time as Foreign Minister we built the architecture of the negotiations and this turned out to be a winning strategy.

Source: Yantra TODAY live.

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