The Treaty of Rome at 60 and the future of the European Union: Views from PanEuropа Bulgaria

PanEuropа Bulgaria welcomes the 60 years anniversary of the European project transforming Europe from being a continent of war to a continent of peace.

A project founded on the concept that “Peace is not God’s gift to his creatures; it is our gift to each other” (Noble Peace Prize Laureate 1986 Elie Wiesel, Holocaust Survivor). Over a period of 70 years our generations enjoy the longest period of lasting peace in Europe history.

Today peace and stability are taken for granted. However that would not have been the case, provided the founding fathers were not that courageous and decisive to launch the European integration.

And the ideal for peaceful, united and prosperous Europe has been the driver of   European political cooperation over the last decades.

The European Union of today is the largest union of democracies, the largest trade bloc in the world. For ten years now, Bulgaria is part of the Union of shared principles for peace, democracy, solidarity, freedom, equality, prosperity, social market economy, sustainability.

The challenges of the past are not the same as the challenges of XXI century, and no single member state can deal with them on its own. Therefore the EU must maintain its political unity as well as the integration achievements of the last 60 years.

Return of competences from community level to national level, or to previous levels of integration, voiced by some quarters in the EU, will not help solving the problems we are facing.

At the same time doing nothing in the name of unity is not an option. We need drivers of progress to deal with the challenges in external and internal security, uneven distribution of prosperity, social exclusion

Moving forward is needed in response to issues worrying the European citizens in areas like defense, security and justice, economic and monetary union, social policy. Such a move forward should take place within the framework of the Lisbon Treaty, our common institutions and budget, due account being given to maintaining common policies including convergence (cohesion) policy, equality and solidarity between member states.

Any vanguard format of member states in any area will be successful and contributing to the common European good, provided the format is open, inviting for further participation, assisting those member states, who at a certain moment are not yet prepared to take part.

Pan Europe considers that it is politically and strategically important for Bulgaria to speed up its accession to the euro zone. As of today 19 EU member states are part of the euro zone comprising population of 330 mln. Such a step will allow for fully fledged participation in the completion of the economic and monetary union by 2025, i.e. in the process of economic convergence and deeper integration between member states. The euro is the currency of the European Union, of the Internal market of the European Union and it is the second world currency after the dollar.

Pan Europe invites our partners to take into account the fact that Bulgaria is a part of the Schengen space, according to its Accession Treaty, and Bulgaria continues to protect the external border of the Union and thus to consider in a positive manner the completion of Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen Agreement (lifting of internal borders and inclusion in the Schengen visa system)

We are confident that no effort will spared to defend the European project as the most successful project of states united for peace, stability and prosperity for their citizens.

Sofia, 14th of March 2017