Extracts from the joint press briefing by Sergei Stanishev, Bulgarian Prime Minister, and José Manuel Barroso
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 05/03/2009 First transmission: 05/03/2009
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, met with Sergei Stanishev, Bulgarian Prime Minister, to speak about the national Bulgarian recovery plan for the Economy and the funds that this country will receive from the EU in order to build new infrastructures and energy interconnections. Regarding the last conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, President Barroso reminded that another conflict which affects the gas supply to Europe would damage the credibility of both countries.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the Berlaymont Commission building
||Arrival of José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Sergei Stanishev, Bulgarian Prime Minister, to the press briefing.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC: Bulgaria has had a strongly economic performance in recent years and has kept a very prudent and sound fiscal policy; the EC has taken decisions to our Member States like Bulgaria to stimulate economic activity, for example 528 million euros will be available to Bulgaria in advance of the payments for cohesion policy; priority must be given to strengthen the capacity and independence of the administration and to cut red tape.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Sergei Stanishev, Bulgarian Prime Minister: In a time of crisis, we need a stronger EU; as an entity, we can address the challenges, we can overcome them; even the biggest countries and economies of the EU can not survive on their own.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Sergei Stanishev: We have to speed up the reform process and this is what is written in our programme for the convergence of the Bulgarian economy in the very tough action plan which Bulgarian government adopted on the civilian mechanism, because this is making our country stronger; this is making Bulgaria more modern, more European and we are looking for the highest European standards; it is a process but we are on the right track and we have the firm strength to continue further; I appreciate the readiness of the President of the EC to support this process, with the expertise of the EC, in many sectors including the management of the funds, and everywhere where it is possible and feasible.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by José Manuel Barroso: Bulgaria will receive money for the gas interconnections with Greece and Romania, and infrastructures to allow reverse gas flow if there is a short term supply disruption; Bulgaria will also be one of those to benefit from the Nabucco gas pipeline project.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by José Manuel Barroso: We expressed our strong condemnation of this kind of situation during the gas crisis that happen some months ago; the credibility of Russia and Ukraine will be of course affected if we have another gas crisis, because we need to have confidence in Russia as a supply gas country and Ukraine as a transit country.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) by Sergei Stanishev: It is only a first step and it is important that the EU and the Council say that they are starting with this project, that the intercontinental project will be not stop at this level, that, together with the support of the EC, EIB, EBRD, they will continue this process to become much less vulnerable from any eventual crisis in the future, because today we are not defended and that concerns what is happening in Ukraine and the statement which was made by the Russian Prime Minister (on 5 March 2009).
||Handshake and exit.