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Bulgaria, Hungary to boost Eastern partnership


  • Bulgaria, Hungary to boost Eastern partnership

     
    These hopes were expressed last December by European Commission. But no such thing happened in reality. Gaining Western support and trust turned out to be a tricky task.
     
    On all fronts, however, no significant progress was made. Pressured by the Eurozone's downturn, Eastern Partnership seems to have lost the attention of EU political elites, leading in turn to what many call "a two-paced Europe".
     
    Both presidents voiced concerns about EU's failure to guarantee East European energy security, and called for diversification of sources, stretching a hand to the Middle East and Asia.
     
    The heads of state also declared will to enhance bilateral trade and investment. Current Hungarian investment rates in Bulgaria top 1.3 billion euro. But is this enough? What do delegates to this business forum want to achieve in order to be more non-reliant on EU subsidies?
     
    But this is not an easy thing to do, because up to now regional issues has always been directed from afar, according to Brussels biased views for the Eastern front's development.
     
    It's a good desire, but Hungary's wings have often been cut by Western political agenda. For instance, Hungary - a staunch supporter of Sofia's bid for the Schengen area - is disappointed of French and German stark opposition which jeopardized the presidency's main goal - integration of Sofia and Bucharest into EU's borderless zone.
     
    All members will decide on the matter during a European Council session in Brussels on September 22.
     
    A new conservatism is at work in the EU, experts alarm, citing migrant fears and nationalistic fervor. These are likely to deny later in September Bulgaria and Romania a fair chance to join the visa-free Schengen zone, despite the 1 billion euro these poorest EU nations have spent on developing high-tech border control systems. 

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