Only a common policy in that field can make Europe stronger
Mina Marinova
The lack of cooperation between European Union Member States in the field of security and defence leads to estimated losses of €25bn to €100bn a year. The warning came from President Rumen Radev during the National Conference on Defence and Aerospace Industry and Research, held under his patronage on 10 July in Sofia. Special guests to the forum included European Commissioner for Internal Market and Entrepreneurship Elzbieta Bienkowska and the Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency Jorge Domecq. President Radev noted that the non-uniform defence policies of EU Member States also result in the use of 178 types of combat vehicles.
The Balkan Gas Hub will be supplied from three Black Sea locations
Bulgaria is a real factor on the Balkans thanks to the capacity of its gas transmission network, observed Prime Minister Boyko Borisov at the 2nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, which took place on 10 July. The Bulgarian premier attended the forum at the invitation of Turkish President Recep Erdogan.
 
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Russia’s Minister of Energy Alexander Novak discussed cooperation opportunities in the energy sector while in Istanbul. The two officials talked during the recent petroleum forum in Istanbul, prior to which the Bulgarian premier took part in a business meeting attended by the heads of state of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, and Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, as well as the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama.
 
In Brief
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Cabinet adopts programme for Bulgaria’s EU presidency
 
The government has adopted a National Programme for Bulgaria’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, outlining the basic priorities for it, Lilyana Pavlova (L), minister for Bulgaria’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2018, told journalists at the Council of Ministers’ headquarters. “The priorities are constructed around three main pillars and messages, to which the country would like to draw attention. The three messages, which we call ‘the three Cs’, are consensus, competitiveness and cohesion,” Pavlova said.

BGN 5,000 cash payment ceiling as of 1 January 2018
 
“We have proposed the introduction of a BGN 5,000 (about €2,500) ceiling for cash payments, which is to be gradually reduced to BGN 1,000,” announced Menda Stoyanova, MP from GERB and chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance. The measure is set to take effect on 1 January 2018. In early June, the cabinet adopted amendments to the Tax and Social Security Code, under which cash payments exceeding BGN 1,000 will be gradually banned. 

Princess Kalina and her son receive Bulgarian passports
 
The daughter of H.M. King Simeon II, Princess Kalina, and her son Simeon-Hassan have been presented with their first Bulgarian passports by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. A presidential decree of 2013 granted Bulgarian citizenship to the princess and her son, the only grandson of King Simeon who was born in Bulgaria. Since then, Princess Kalina has been competing in international equestrian sports events under the Bulgarian flag. Her son Simeon-Hassan, named after his grandfather King Simeon II and the late King of Morocco Hassan II, lives with his parents in Rabat.

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