Visiting Bulgaria for talks just a few days before the European elections, Heiko Maas is embarking on a special and very important week for Europe. In the next few days he will meet with several EU Foreign Ministers besides his Bulgarian counterpart. The message is clear: we need a strong, sovereign Europe of solidarity.
Working together for a Europe United
Following his arrival in the country yesterday, Maas met Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Today he is meeting his counterpart Ekaterina Gecheva-Zaharieva for political talks. European issues will play an important role then too. Maas firmly believes that only if Europe stands united will its voice carry on the global stage. The foundation for this is respect for our shared values and enhanced cooperation rather than isolationism.
Engagement for Europe and the Western Balkans
Bulgaria is a strong pro-Europe partner. During the country's EU Council Presidency last year, the Bulgarian Government focused in particular on the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership. The Western Balkans will also be on the agenda for these bilateral talks in Sofia. Bulgaria advocates that all Western Balkan states have the prospect of accession to the EU, and has made this one of its foreign-policy priorities. Within South-Eastern Europe, Bulgaria regards itself as an anchor of stability and is committed to a peaceful, good-neighbourly balance of interests and to enhanced economic cooperation.
Jubilee for German-Bulgarian relations
Bulgaria has maintained bilateral relations with Germany for 140 years now. Heiko Maas will be marking this anniversary today alongside Ekaterina Gecheva-Zaharieva: together they will lay the foundation stone for the new German Embassy in Sofia. This morning the German Foreign Minister met representatives of Bulgarian civil society. Before returning to Berlin, he will also have discussions with President Rumen Radev.