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National Assembly President Tsetska Tsacheva and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland discussed Bulgaria's upcoming chairmanship of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers

The Chair of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva has met with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland . They discussed the chairmanship of our country of the Coucil of Europe’s Committee of Ministers in the period November, 2015 – May, 2016.

The speaker of Bulgaria’s parliament, Tsetska Tsacheva, noticed that the new challenges faced by Europe currently like the crisis in Ukraine, the migration wave  and the threat of radicalization leading to terrorist acts will be on the attention of the Bulgarian chairmanship. Tsetska Tsacheva has confirmed the position of Bulgaria with respect to the leading role of the Council of Europe in the process of establishing democracy in Europe and its basic principles such as political pluralism, supremacy of the law, defense of the citizens’ rights and freedoms. She pointed out that during its chairmanship Bulgaria will work to enhance the interaction with other international organizations – the UN, the OCSE and the EU.

The head of Bulgaria’s parliament noted that the priorities set up in the second report of the Council of Europe's General Secretary, dedicated to “ The State of  Democracy, Human Rights and Supremacy of the Law” are very relevant for our country. I agree, she said, with your concept that the security of each state depends on the security of its neighbors and added that the topics mentioned in the above report will also be discussed during the Bulgarian chairmanship.

Tsetska Tsacheva informed the guest about the main legislative priority of the National Assembly during the autumn session, namely to continue the reform in the judicial system of the country. She further said that the parliament aspires to pass the amendments in the Constitution until the end of the session.

She explained that the goal of the amendments in the Constitution is to reinforce the independence and impartiality of the Court, to improve the process of professional development and growth of the judges, the prosecutors and the investigative magistrates. On the issue of judicial reform, Tsacheva expressed her satisfaction with the work done together with the Venice commission of the Council of Europe.

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, noted on his part that the aim of his visit is to discuss the priorities and the initiatives of the Council of Europe’s chairmanship of Bulgaria. He praised the good preparedness of Bulgaria. He mentioned the priorities of this round of chairmanship are to be also the defense of the rights of children, the improved access of young people to cultural events, the defense of the media from external pressures and the defense of vulnerable groups.

Among the other issues discussed were the immunity of MPs and magistrates, the freedom of speech and the refugee wave in Europe. The President of the National Assembly, Tsetska Tsacheva, stressed that Bulgaria is doing her best to implement its international commitments to provide asylum to the refugees on one hand and to prevent the entrance of radical elements on Bulgarian territory at the other. Tsetska Tsacheva underscored that no European country is in a position to manage this problem alone and therefore European solidarity should be exercised and a common solution found. She pointed out that our country is in good communication and interaction with Turkey. The situation is under control and manageable but this comes at the expense of many efforts and resources on the part of Bulgaria, the chair of parliament pointed out.
The meeting was attended by the leader of the National Assembly’s Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Dzhema Grozdanova. 

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