Bulgaria was a leader in the production of forklift trucks, and today it does not even have an automobile industry, said MEP Radan Kanev at a discussion meeting on the first day of the second training for young journalists this year, organized by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA) in partnership with the European Parliament (EP ). According to him, Bulgaria is a leading force in other sectors of the economy – the copper, steel and chemical industries, as well as non-ferrous metallurgy. In his words, in order to continue the development of industrial activity in our country, we must first establish political stability and security, and this will lead to the construction of a strategy for development and attraction of investments.
He also spoke about the functions he performs as a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament and about the challenges of including European issues in Bulgarian politics. He described the EU’s decision-making process as “problematic, even traumatic” and said it was virtually impossible to pass EU law because the European Committee “has no rear-view mirror”. European commissioners pursue national interests and do not pay much attention to European needs, he also commented. Kanev also presented the “green transition” plan and EU policies to promote industry.
“Before the parliamentary elections in Austria are held in the coming spring of 2024, the chances are really minimal,” commented Radan Kanev to BTA about the future of Bulgaria in the Schengen area. He said that he sees the effort of the government in our country to achieve a result in this direction and added that if it succeeds, “it would be heroism.” According to him, a serious problem is the “political brake” on the part of Austria and the Netherlands. “These are their internal political problems that affect us and Romania,” Kanev also said.
Young journalists from various media participated in training on the work of European institutions. On the first day of the training program, they had discussions with lecturers about the distribution of competences between European institutions, about European integration and the value system of democracy, as well as the European Parliament’s work process and policies to promote the “green transition”.
An emphasis for BTA is young journalists and journalists in the regions, said in a video address the general director of BTA Kiril Valchev at the start of the second training for young journalists of the national and regional media in Bulgaria this year.
The understanding of the European Union (EU), its institutions and how they function is not very high, after 16 years of membership of Bulgaria, said Teodor Stoychev – Head of the Bureau of the European Parliament in Bulgaria. “Among young people, among older people, there are still basic misunderstandings about how the EU functions, what we can do through its institutions, through our representatives in the European Parliament, what we cannot do,” he said. There have been all kinds of cases over the years, people just don’t know what they can turn to the European Parliament for, he added.
“The European Union is one of a kind,” said Prof. Dr. Ingrid Shikova, co-founder of the Department of European Studies at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. In an open discussion, she introduced the program participants to the functioning of community institutions. Shikova presented the European policies and their implementation in the member states based on the values of the European Union. According to her, in order for Europe to be united, the representatives of the European institutions must be able to show trust and make compromises. According to her, when these two qualities are possible, decision-making is easier and faster.
“What drives integration? These are three main things – trust, loyalty and shared values”, comments the political scientist and political integration expert Assoc. Ivan Nachev. In his words, consensus and compromise are the key to achieving efficient results. He presented the work of the European Committee of the Regions, which Bulgarian mayors are part of it and what changes should take place after the results of the local elections. In addition, Nachev introduced the young journalists to the powers, functions and legislative procedures carried out by the European Parliament. He presented the political groups that are part of the European Parliament and announced that “the members of the EP are united on a political basis, not on a national basis.”
This year’s second training for young journalists will take place on November 6, 7 and 8.
A commission from BTA has determined the 14 young journalists who will undergo the training. It will be in two modules: national and European. In the national module, general knowledge about the European institutions will be presented, and the European module foresees training in June at the European Parliament in Brussels for two of the participants, selected on the basis of the results of their presentation in the national training.
Those who complete the training will receive a certificate from the Bureau of the European Parliament in Sofia. Trainings under the program of the European Parliament are organized in more than 20 countries of the European Union.