GERB/EPP MEP Eva Paunova takes part in the 51st Munich Security Conference

Bulgarian MEP Eva Paunova was one of the country’s representatives to the 51st Munich Security Conference, together with President Rosen Plevneliev and Foreign Affairs Minister Daniel Mitov.

The forum saw German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Vice-President Joe Biden among others, come together to find solutions to the Ukrainian crisis and the worsening security situation in the world at large. It was also attended by former Secretary of State of the US Madeleine Albright.

Ms Paunova argued that due to its strategic position – between the crisis hotbeds of the Black Sea and the Middle East – Bulgaria has a responsibility to take initiative. ‘As an external border of both the EU and NATO, Bulgaria is one of the key actors in safeguarding European security. It is up to us to raise concerns and seek further integration into both communities’, the Bulgarian MEP stated.’We may be on the periphery geographically, but are still central to the functioning of both organisations’ overall security framework’

The EPP/GERB MEP called the installation of NATO elements in Bulgaria a ‘productive first step’, but warned that the country also needs to take the lead in introducing new policies on an international level, to allow it to address pressing issues such as the toll of immigration on its public services, terrorism and the general instability in the region.

Ms Paunova also attended the 10th Transatlantic Forum of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), where she debated European security policy with leading German politicians including Federal Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen.