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Bulgarian President: "EU integration only weapon to achieve peace and security"

The cure to the EU's ills is more solidarity, more rule of law, more synergies and more integration, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev told MEPs on 8 June. "Integration is the only weapon we have to achieve peace, security and human development," he said in plenary, adding: "Erecting borders is a tempting, yet temporary and not sustainable solution." The President also condemned what he called Russia's efforts to destabilise the EU and erode trust in the European project.

Referring to the tense relations between the EU and Russia, Plevneliev said: "We have entered a new phase of development, which I call Cold Peace time.  We see confrontation and methods from the Cold War time: propaganda wars, cyber-attacks, proxy and hybrid warfare."  He said Moscow had initiated "a vast propaganda machine that spreads messages of mistrust". "It seems like they are succeeding," he said. "We've stopped the only engine we have: integration. We are pulling the break on enlargement, Schengen and others."

The Bulgarian President argued that Europe should move to "dispel the doubts of Europeans and reassure them we know where we are heading to".

"I want that we all start new engines of integration," he said, "The enlargement process, more efficient and coordinated common European foreign, defense and security policy, the European Energy Union, the Single Digital Market, the EU Capital Markets Union and others."

Plevneliev also called for a new dynamic and open economic model of Europe: "Europe of the future is a Europe of entrepreneurs, of technology and innovation".

Parliament President Martin Schulz thanked Plevneliev for his "brave speech", adding: "Many people in this House share your views and others disagree. I am in the former group."


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