Tag Archives: Balkans

Bulgaria: the Poor Relative

There’s a good article in Euractiv prepared by the Bulgarian newspaper Dnevnik that is worth reading by anyone who cares for the internal consistency of the EU. The facts: Bulgaria is still one of the poorest countries not only in the EU but in the Balkans as a whole. A third of the employed citizens in Bulgaria – belong to the category of ‘working poor’, as the average salary in their sector is significantly lower than the national average.

This is a welcome reminder that the population of an EU Member State is in a much graver position than, say, in Greece or Portugal.

The Nexus between the New Bulgarian Government and Enlargement

Commenting on the new Bulgarian government, Financial Times makes an interesting observation:

“Those who support further EU enlargement should pray Mr Borissov is successful. Since 2007, the momentum of enlargement has been lost and the appetite of many existing member states – particularly France – has diminished.

Should the south-east European duo fail to improve, doubts over the EU’s famed transformative power will creep in, and the prospects of EU enlargement to the western Balkans will be damaged.

That would be a tragedy. The prospect of EU accession – however long and arduous the road – is one of the few stabilising factors in the Balkans. However blunt, enlargement has been the EU’s most powerful foreign policy tool. As Bulgaria has demonstrated, accession must not be rushed, but nor should what happens in Sofia be allowed to derail it.”

Quite a responsibility indeed.