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PACE President calls for Bulgarian parliament to begin functioning normally again

Strasbourg, 11.07.2013 – “Political debate must resume in the Bulgarian parliament” said PACE president Jean-Claude Mignon following his official visit to Bulgaria on 10 and 11 July.

“Bulgaria's main political forces must re-establish a serious and constructive dialogue to enable the parliament to begin functioning normally again, with the participation of the main opposition party, which won the most votes in the parliamentary elections in May. It is essential for the concerns of Bulgarian citizens, including those demonstrating every day in the streets, to be heeded by their representatives in parliament.

A continuation of the current stalemate will only radicalise the political situation still further and prompt the rise of extremist parties, including at the European elections in May 2014.

PACE is prepared to do anything in its power to help to find a solution to the current crisis, particularly in the context of the current post-monitoring dialogue,” he added.

In this connection, Jean-Claude Mignon welcomed the strong desire of the Bulgarian authorities to honour the commitments they had made as part of this procedure as promptly as possible. Their positive attitude and their will to continue reforming, drawing on the expertise and mechanisms of the Council Europe, particularly the Venice Commission and GRECO, were the best means of ensuring that they would achieve this goal as quickly as possible. 

On his visit to Sofia, Jean-Claude Mignon also spoke at the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation (PABSEC). In his statement he highlighted the need for increased co-operation between the various regional assemblies and PACE on issues of common interest.

During his trip, the President met the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, the Speaker of the National Assembly and PABSEC President, Mihail Mikov, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, Foreign Minister Christian Vigenin, members of the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee, representatives of the various parliamentary groups and students from the University of Sofia.