Trust fund for Eastern partners
The November 2017 Eastern Partnership Summit should pave the way to set up a trust fund for Eastern partners and reward reforms by offering them customs union, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs recommended last Tuesday. They welcome the significant progress made since last Eastern Partnership Summit, held in Riga in 2015, and stressed that some Eastern partners have made major reforms. Moreover, countries such as Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova now benefit from free trade and visa-free regimes with the EU. “The Eastern Partnership is about more than signing agreements at biannual summits. It is about supporting the EU's Eastern European partners in implementing reforms in the areas of democracy, rule of law and fundamental freedoms. We want to see more progress on reforms,” co-rapporteur Knut Fleckenstein (S&D, DE) said.
Gas supply placed under monitoring
The European Council adopted on 9 October a revised regulation concerning measures to safeguard the security of gas supply, said a message on the Council’s website. “The general purpose of the regulation is to reinforce the EU energy security, reducing its dependency on others for energy supplies and enabling it to deal more quickly and efficiently with any gas supply crises,” said the message.
Cities, regions try to fill digital gap
Maria Koleva, Brussels
A joint platform that will shore up accessibility of high-speed internet across all European cities and regions, even in the rural areas, was kicked off on 12 October by the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions.
Lawmakers insist for new law on dual quality goods
Maria Koleva, Brussels
A debate that addressed the issue of the unacceptable practice in the EU of selling products of dual quality under the same brand and packaging, depending on the country, was held by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) members with a representative of the Commission.
Political corrida riles business
European markets took relief from Catalonia stopping short of declaring immediate independence from Madrid while Spanish stocks and bonds rallied and the euro hit a two-week high last Wednesday, news wires reported.
Sofia seeks EU-wide consensus on priorities
There is no better place than the EU - neither to the east nor to the west, and we will work towards its success, towards a more united and stronger bloc, said Prime Minister Boyko Borisov before members of the Supreme Political Consultative Board for Bulgaria’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. During a session at the Lozenets Residence in Sofia, the Board was presented with the presidency programme and the priorities outlined in it.
International law failure
Prof. Mihail Konstantinov
The events that have transpired in the Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia since 1 October shook Spain and sent shock waves across Europe and other corners of the world. As a result, some have been prompted to predict violent clashes with the central power in Spain, while others hope for a civilised solution to the crisis.
No-deal Brexit: badly calculated gamble
Panicos O. Demetriades
I couldn’t help feeling a sense of deja vu when I heard the news that Theresa May’s government has started preparations for a no-deal Brexit. For the notion of a no-deal Brexit resembles the thinking of those politicians who, in March 2013, argued that Cyprus should reject the Eurogroup’s bailout offer – because they thought the conditions involved were unfair – and prepare to abandon the euro, and consequently the EU. I was governor of the central bank of Cyprus at the time. “If we show our readiness to turn down their offer,” these politicians argued, “the Eurogroup will come to its senses and will then offer us a better deal, as they wouldn’t want to face a disorderly unravelling of the euro.”
NATO sets Black Sea force
The Multinational NATO South-East Brigade, headquartered in Craiova, southern Romania, and aimed at countering Russia's increased threat to the Black Sea region, was officially inaugurated last Monday, news wires reported. At the Annual Plenary Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly held in Bucharest Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance is increasing its land, air and naval presence in both Romania and Bulgaria.
US-Turkey tensions boil over visa ban
The US and Turkey suspended non-immigrant visa services at their respective consulates days after the arrest of a consulate employee in Istanbul over alleged ties to Fethullah Gulen, the exiled Islamist cleric who Turkey says orchestrated a failed military coup in July 2016.
IEA: Renewable power capacity in extreme rise
Renewable energy sources capacity is growing with extreme speed, with solar power leading the race, according to the International Energy Agency annual report, released last Monday. Solar capacity grew by 50% last year, with China accounting for almost half that expansion.
Bombardier presents new business jet
Bombardier largest business jet made its debut last week in Las Vegas at a time of sluggish industry sales and as it fights a trade battle over a separate jet, news wires reported. The new Global 7000, the industry's largest jet designed for private or corporate use, was on display at the National Business Aviation Association's industry trade show on 10-12 October.
Wonders of Indonesia
Paintings, sculptures, textiles and artefacts from the world’s largest archipelago, are on display at the National Art Gallery in Sofia. The 2017 Wonders of Indonesia Festival will introduce the visitors and residents of Bulgaria’s capital to the cultural and historical heritage of the tropical-climate country. From 6 October to 12 November the gallery is presenting paintings and sculptures by Indonesian authors on loan from the National Gallery of Indonesia.
I yearn for perfection
Diyana Tusheva, BGNES News Agency
If one lives long enough, however good that life is, one turns 70 and that fate has befallen me. Certain things follow from this fact. First, the past starts to stretch longer and the future ominously shrinks.
Works by Stoilov join Tretyakov Gallery
Prints by Stoimen Stoilov have been added to the collection of the famous State Tretyakov Gallery.
Established in 1856, today the museum is among the world’s leading visual arts spaces, with a collection of over 180,000 works.
Most beautiful edifice in Sofia
Downtown Sofia features a building that many consider to be the most beautiful in the capital, if not the entire country. It is the “Ivan Vazov” National Theatre, which was modelled after the best European architectural traditions of the early 20th century and first opened its doors to visitors some 110 years ago, in the now distant 1907.