Bulgaria Demands Continued Cooperation To Curb Illegal Immigration

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov called here on Monday for immediate European Union (EU) steps against irregular migration in Europe, saying he was not optimistic that Bulgaria could stem the migration flows from the Middle East.

Speaking at the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC), Borissov said Bulgaria would propose to the forthcoming European Council that all external borders should be closed and that anybody wishing to enter the EU should do so through the official border crossings and submit to fingerprinting and medical check-ups.

Borissov underlined Bulgaria’s efforts in deterring irregular migration, namely building a fence along its border with Turkey and reinforcing police patrols. This protection cost European taxpayers 160 million euros (about 185.7 million U.S. dollars).

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev also addressed the conference, saying the Bulgarian government had succeeded in steering Europe’s agenda by demonstrating stability and organization, and by fostering an atmosphere of candid and open dialogue. A prosperous and stable Europe was out of the question unless the security and stability of the Western Balkans could be guaranteed, he said.

“The key to our success lies in foregrounding unity as a determining factor for the achievement of effective solutions,” he stressed.

The six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, which Bulgaria has held since January of this year, comes to an end at the end of this month.

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