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ICMPD Around the Globe: ICMPD’s Director General speaks at the Round Table on achievements of the Bulgarian Presidency

18 July 2018

On 17 July, upon the invitation of Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Chairman of the Committee on Internal Security and Public Order of Bulgaria, ICMPD DG Michael Spindelegger delivered a keynote speech at the Round Table „Achievements in the area of home affairs during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union“, in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Together with other high level panellists, including Mr. Valentin Radev, Minister of Interior of the Republic of Bulgaria, and Ms. Kamelia Dimitrova, Secretary of the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, he discussed the achievements and progress of the Bulgarian Presidency.

“The Bulgarian Presidency understood very well the complexity of the migration issue and has done an excellent and truly remarkable job,” said ICMPD DG. “Maybe we can call the “building of bridges” as one of the overriding achievements of the Bulgarian Presidency, the building of bridges within the EU and between the EU and its partners, but also the building of bridges into the future.”

According to the Director General, one of the main achievements of the Bulgarian Presidency was the return of the focus on the European perspective for the Western Balkan countries. “The Sofia Declaration reaffirmed the full support of the EU for the European perspective of the Western Balkans. And this is extremely important also from the migration perspective,” he stated.

The Director General highlighted some of the concrete initiatives where ICMPD supported the Bulgarian Presidency, including cooperation in the area of border management, asylum and return policies in the framework of the Budapest Process Black Sea Working Group and partnership with the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings.

As Austria is taking over the presidency of the EU Council, the ICMPD DG commented that the “Austrian Presidency will continue to pursue the topics and priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency.”

Download the speech delivered by ICMPD DG Michael Spindelegger here.