Politicians, academics, experts discuss challenges, opportunities of Bulgaria's foreign policy strategy
Baku, 6 December, AZERTAC
A conference on "The Foreign Policy Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria: Challenges and Opportunities" is taking place here on Monday.
"We can all make Bulgaria a factor of stability and security in Southeastern Europe, a factor of growth, a regional innovation leader," Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mariya Garbiel said, opening the forum. "Before getting to this clearly stated ambition, it is crucial to take into consideration the comprehensively changing world around," she added, reported Bulgarian News Agency (BTA).
The participating politicians, academics, experts and journalists are discussing the development and adoption of a national strategy for Bulgaria's foreign policy.
Gabriel's idea is to hold a series of debates on the subject, her Ministry said.
The Deputy PM said that the strategy is planned to be developed as a public document spelling out the principles and the short-term and medium-term objectives and tasks of Bulgarian foreign policy. She argued that the foreign policy strategy is needed because of the radically changed international environment, growing fragmentation, overlapping crises, a different security architecture, Russia's aggression against Ukraine, hybrid actions and cyber attacks.
"We are witnessing global transformations, climate change, disrupted supply chains, digitization and migration pressure. New strategic partnerships are taking shape worldwide, with North America, Latin America, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. We are clear that economic diplomacy is gaining new dimensions," Gabriel said. "Against this backdrop, the adoption of a strategic document, to be approved in advance by the National Assembly, is intended to increase the transparency, predictability and public support for Bulgarian foreign policy," the Bulgarian Foreign Minister said.
"It is important to build new strategic partnerships. Bulgaria has a lot to contribute to cultural diplomacy acquiring new dimensions," Gabriel said. She believes that the country should be better prepared to tackle disinformation and hybrid threats.
"Bulgaria's foreign policy is based on a goal inscribed in the Constitution itself," National Assembly Chair Rosen Zhelyazkov said, addressing the Conference.
"A strategy is necessary because it will help transcend the understanding of foreign policy as reactive implementation, it will be based on several key components such as planning and analysis," he pointed out.
"The Constitution allocates foreign policy among individual institutions despite the clear definition that foreign and home policy is implemented by the Council of Ministers. Parliament has a role of its own, above all by the acts it adopts and the laws it ratifies. The President has a role of his own in terms of designating heads of diplomatic missions," Zhelyazkov recalled.