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European and National parliaments bear common responsibility for the future of European citizens, EP President Jerzy Buzek declared
March 3, 2010

The European Parliament together with the National Parliaments of the Member States carry the responsibility for the future of the EU and its citizens. This is what the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek pointed out during his official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of National Assembly Chair Tsetska Tsacheva on March 3, 2010. This is his first visit to Bulgaria after assuming the position of President of the European Parliament.

Tsetska Tsacheva welcomed the guest at the headquarters of the National Assembly. Then Jerzy Buzek met with the members of the Presidential Council of the 41st National Assembly, in the presence of the parliament’s deputy chairs and chairs of parliamentary groups and committees. The President of the National Assembly decorated Mr. Jerzy Busek with “martenitsa” and explained the symbolic meaning of this Bulgarian custom.

Tsetska Tsacheva informed the EU President on the priorities of the 41st National Assembly. Among them, she highlighted, ensuring security of the Bulgarian citizens, fighting corruption and organized crime, tackling the adverse effects of economic crisis, harmonizing the Bulgarian legislation with the Acquis. European Parliament President noted it was an honor that his visit was coinciding with the National Holiday of Bulgaria – March 3. He stressed the need to continue the active dialogue between the EU Parliament and the National Assembly. According to him the close relationship between the two institutions was in the interest of the citizens of Bulgaria and the entire European Union. Jerzy Buzek expressed his hope that Bulgaria will soon join the Schengen Area and that probably will be the first country to enter the Eurozone after the crisis.

At the end of the meeting, the President of the European Parliament signed into the book of official guests of the National Assembly. The Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva offered him as present a replica of the parliamentary bell - symbol of Bulgarian statehood and parliamentary life. Then both made statements to the media.

Tsetska Tsacheva thanked the President of the European parliament for his visiting Bulgaria, in time for the celebration of its National Holiday. She expressed satisfaction with the fact that less than two months following their meeting in Brussels, they have again the opportunity to discuss topics related to the role of national parliaments in the light of the Lisbon Treaty, after it had entered into effect.

Jerzy Buzek said his message, brought from Brussels, is one of solidarity, as in his view it was through solidarity alone that the difficulties associated with the crisis could be overcome, and more jobs for European citizens created, so as to improve their situation and meet their expectations.

“Another important issue that we must not forget is the security of energy supplies”, he added. He stressed that this was a problem of extreme interest of the EU citizens. “It might be that not all know or care about procedural niceties of how one or another EU institution is working, but many people understand and feel right away when they experience heating or electricity holdbacks”, said Buzek. “So the very clear message from the EU is that together we will make sure this is not to happen again”, he added.

The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, gave a public lecture at the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ", titled " Europe and freedom". “Freedom is at the basis of our system of values”, he noted. “The fight for freedom means fight for human dignity”, said Buzek. He underscored the importance of solidarity between European citizens and states.

Jerzy Buzek familiarized students with the idea for EU Energy Community, which will provide European citizens with energy security. “To make the EU more competitive, energy supply ought to be at lower prices”, he said, adding that in order to make Europe more competitive it should become more "innovative".

Buzek greeted the audience on the occasion of Bulgaria’s national holiday, and stressed that the fight for freedom and human rights in each country is linked to the parliamentary institution as it is directly elected by citizens.

European Parliament President met with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and President Georgi Parvanov.

Jerzy Buzek was an official guest at the solemn tattoo, marking Bulgaria’s National Holiday - March 3.
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