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Bulgaria: Mgr. Proykov (Bishops’ President), “time to rethink its place in Europe”

“Being part of the EU is a political and economic security as we are subject to European rules that ensure the supremacy of law and justice. Without the EU, Bulgaria would hardly have achieved these results”. This was stated by Mgr. Christo Proykov, apostolic exarch and president of the Bulgarian Bishops, in an interview with SIR news agency ahead of the dialogue “(Re)thinking Europe. A Christian contribution to the future of the European project”, organised by COMECE and the Holy See in the Vatican from 27 to 29 October. Ten years ago, Bulgaria joined the European Union, Mgr. Proykov said, which was “a great achievement in the difficult years of transition between the end of the atheistic regime and the market economy”. “Now – he went on to say – it is time for Bulgaria to rethink its place in Europe, to take a more active position and seek new long-term goals”. According to the president of the Bulgarian Bishops, “most of the expectations concern a faster economic development and the resulting increase in people’s living standards”. “Right now – he added – you see apathy in society towards the EU because Bulgarians expected that their living standards would soon match those of Western countries, but they realised that membership does not automatically resolve the problems”. On the one hand – Proykov noted – “big infrastructure projects were undertaken, highways were built, which were greatly needed in Bulgaria”, but on the other, “our society looks with interest and concern to certain European processes, such as the wave of migrants and other current issues, including that of particularism and divisions”. Society in Bulgaria “still has high expectations of Christianity as a sure path to a good future for the country”. “The joint debate in the Vatican – he concluded – will surely be of inspiration, and we hope that the Christian message and the new proposals that will emerge from that dialogue will reach Europe’s political elite and become part of the European agenda”.

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