After the first month of the Bulgarian EU Council Presidency, ALDE Party and FNF’s European Dialogue Programme hosted their traditional liberal breakfast on the ongoing presidency in presence of the speakers Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Iskra Mihaylova, MEPs of the Bulgarian ALDE member “Movement for Rights and Freedoms”.
Bulgaria just started its first EU council presidency. The country seeks to meet Europe’s challenges by preserving and strengthening unity and solidarity amongst the member states.
Ten years ago, the political geography of Europe changed when ten countries mostly from Central and Eastern Europe joined the European Union. Then Bulgaria, Romania, and eventually Croatia followed, thereby creating the largest single market and the biggest area of freedom of movement in the world. However, after the initial EUphoria, the “new” members soon faced the reality of the stark discrepancy between them in their ability to keep up with the integration-stride of the “older” kids. The recent crisis in particular has not only left some newbies vulnerable in the economic department, but allowed populists and eurosceptics to dominate the domestic discourse on European affairs. Yavor Aleksiev, Economist at the Institute for Market Economic (Bulgaria), Csaba Tóth, Director of Strategy at the Republikon Institute (Hungary) and Błažej Lenkowski, President of Fundacja Industrial (Poland) discussed whether the biggest enlargement in EU history has meet the expectations of the new members and what the greatest challenges are for liberals with regards to the upcoming European Parliament elections. Continue reading