Although Pope Francis wants the Balkan nation to open its hearts and homes to migrants, there is considerable opposition to refugees in Bulgaria. Ties with the Catholic Church are also not warm.
A rise in attacks against minorities has alarmed observers in Bulgaria. They say the violence is generated by nationalism, and that this aggression is rooted in the way Bulgaria reads its own history.
As populists gather more and more support in several EU countries, the responsibility of politicians is to limit those trends and establish a truly European debate ahead of the European elections.
Bulgarian authorities say they are constructing a fence on a 30-kilometer (19-mile) stretch of the country's 274-kilometer (171-mile) border with Turkey in an effort to stop illegal immigration.
Wrong message at the wrong time: it brings grist to the mill and populist Eurosceptic David Cameron. Romania and Bulgaria do not enter into the Schengen area of free movement. Their case will be, at best, reviewed at the end of the year, and nothing says that member states hostile to the entry of both countries have in the meantime changed their point of view to enable them to access One day in space without borders.
Ministers have called for furthering regional cooperation and European Union membership by 2020.
Bulgaria has scrapped two of its three Russian-backed energy projects. Plans to build the 2,000MW Belene nuclear power plant on the Danube River were cancelled last week, and the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline was dropped in December. Usually saying ‘no’ to Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin carries a heavy price.
Europeans better agree with its Eastern partners on a bilateral basis than on behalf of the whole EU. The example is Bulgaria, which really, as Bulgarian President Georgy Pyrvanov reported, showed Europe how it is possible to deal with Azerbaijan.
A tug of war between Sofia and Moscow over Russia's controversial Belene nuclear power plant project in Bulgaria intensified in August with both sides bracing for a protracted legal battle.
Russia urged Bulgaria to speed up decisions to allow the countries to start building an oil pipeline bypassing Turkey’s Bosporus strait and a nuclear power plant on the Danube River.