The Cooperation and Verification Mechanism can encourage Bulgarian-Romanian interaction
The founder of the “Bridge of Friendship” blog gave an interview to the podcast of the Konrad Adenauer Romania Foundation about the rule of law in Bulgaria and Bulgarian-Romanian relations
Vladimir Mitev was invited as a guest on the podcast Rule of Law Rules of the Konrad Adenauer Romania Foundation. In the episode released on April 7, 2021, Vladimir spoke about the rule of law in Bulgaria, the over-personalized political system (under the aegis of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov), the prosecution, which is in question, and public sentiment about the rule of law and anti-corruption discourse. In addition, Vladimir spoke about the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism and how it could influence Bulgarian-Romanian relations by allowing the two countries to have their own initiative internationally.
According to the founder of the blog “The Bridge of Friendship”, despite the protests of the summer of 2020 in Bulgaria there is no vision for modernization and development. It is not explained what social change would mean, how to achieve it step by step and what indicators of its success exist. Bulgarian elites and the people seem somewhat detached from each other – the elites do not educate the people while they reject them.
If a vision for development appears in Bulgaria, this should be reflected in its international relations. According to Vladimir, in the era of Joe Biden, Bulgarian-Romanian relations should improve, whether the peoples like it or not, due to the international situation that is emerging. And the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, which monitors the rule of law in Bulgaria and Romania, could be an occasion for the two countries to come up with their own initiative in international relations. Such may be the idea of a Bulgarian-Romanian mini-Schengen, which was discussed by the blog “The Bridge of Friendship” (in interviews with a Romanian expert, a Bulgarian expert and representatives of Romanian business).
Vladimir also notes that there are European elites in both countries that are well connected to Brussels, but have weaker ties in the region and a tendency to compete with neighbors. According to him, however, our countries need to move forward as a region, not to look for ways to push their neighbors back on the path of Europeanization and modernization. This presupposes the creation of common media spaces in which Bulgarians and Romanians – elites and people, can exchange opinions and get to know each other.
The whole interview can be seen here with English subtitles:
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