"The coronavirus has changed our lives and completely rearranged the EU agenda. Protecting the lives of citizens is currently a top priority. In these times of crisis, it is of the utmost importance to take advantage of all the tools we have within the EU to succeed in the fight against COVID-19." This is what Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said during his telephone conversation with the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron.
The two leaders discussed the current data on the spread of the coronavirus and measures that have proven effective in curbing the disease.
"Addressing such an unprecedented challenge at the EU level is impossible without a coordinated approach for joint measures to mitigate the socio-economic consequences of the crisis," said Prime Minister Borissov. He was certain before the French President that today, more than ever, unity and upholding the principle of European solidarity is needed in the name of restoring the normal way of life of the EU citizens.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister noted that even during the extraordinary measures of the nation states, Bulgaria remains committed to protecting the rule of law, the principles of democracy and human rights.
The Prime Minister Boyko Borissov also pointed out that our country will participate in the International Virtual Donors' Conference on May 4, organized on the initiative of the President of the European Commission, which aims to provide funding for the fight against the pandemic. In this context, Bulgaria is considering a financial commitment.
Prime Minister Borissov briefed French President Macron on the actions of the government and industry to reorganize the Bulgarian economy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister pointed out that the textile industry in Bulgaria has been producing protective clothing, helmets and goggles for the needs of Bulgarian doctors, nurses, orderlies, laboratory assistants and all employees directly involved in the fight against the coronavirus since March.
Such samples of protective clothing and masks have already been sent to Paris and our country is ready to assist and help with quantities.
During the conversation, President Macron welcomed the timely measures imposed by the Bulgarian government against COVID-19, as well as the achieved reorganization in the industry. Prime Minister Borissov wished success to the scientists from the Institute in Montpellier, who launched a clinical trial of a specific drug to see if it can be used effectively in treating patients with COVID-19.
"If we join forces in this area, we will be able to get results faster," Prime Minister Borissov told Macron.
During the telephone conversation, Prime Minister Borissov expressed gratitude that back in 2018, during the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU, President Macron supported the idea of Bulgaria moving to the waiting room of the Eurozone. "We are counting on your support for ERM II today, after we have officially submitted documents to the ECB," he said.
Borissov informed Macron that we had sent a letter to the ECB to complete the ECB's evaluation process for establishing a close cooperation with the banking union, which is a prerequisite for subsequent application and admission to ERM II.
Another focus of the conversation was the excellent bilateral relations based on mutual trust and understanding. "France is a strategic partner and an ally of Bulgaria. We continue to develop our active dialogue and cooperation in all areas of mutual interest bilaterally, as well as within the EU and NATO," said Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. Last year marked the 140th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and France.