Hosting his Polish counterpart Beata Szydło in Sofia on September 20, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov reiterated his call for closing EU borders and processing entrants only through legal crossings.
“If a man is fleeing from war, from death – we will protect him, but economic migrants are another subject – let them go where they are required,” Borissov said.
His country had agreed to the relocation of 1200 to 1300 refugees, but had always “explained what needed to be done”, the closing of EU borders, he said.
Poland is currently subject to penalty proceedings from the EU launched in June because of Warsaw’s failure to comply with undertakings made in 2015 regarding the resettlement of refugees.
Szydło expressed backing for Bulgaria to join the EU’s Schengen visa zone and for the continuation of the life of the mining industry.
She thanked Borissov for the effective way that Bulgaria was guarding an EU external border.
In the talks, French president Emmanuel Macron’s criticism that Poland was isolated and was not working in the interests of Europe was also covered.
“We want the whole EU to develop, and for this to happen, there must be, before all, security, solidarity and unity,” Szydło said, adding that all those politicians who wanted to share the EU wanted to break it.
“And we want unity, openness, expansion. As we have said, if we are united, if we do not allow ourselves to be divided, although we have differences between us, we will be able to unite in the most important questions and take some action together,” she said.
Borissov said that he and Szydło had discussed his meeting with Macron in Varna.
“Beata thanked me that we then had defended Poland,” he said.
On Schengen, Borissov said that Bulgaria was “absolutely ready”.
“There is no controversy, but there are double criteria at the moment, but we do not expect to be attacked by the Netherlands or anyone who, because of elections or something else, speaks on this subject,” Borissov said.
In his recent State of the Union address to the European Parliament, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called for the admission of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen, a message that got short shrift from those who through recent years have been opposed, notably the Dutch./IBNA