Interview with Georgi Parvanov, President of Bulgaria (2002 - 2012), 28.07.2017, Sofia
On the 28th of July 2017, the team of Future workshop Bulgaria visited the office of president Georgi Parvanov. During this visit was conducted an interview that is part of the initiative "The future of Bulgaria". The questions were formulated in accordance with the goals and ideas of the initiative. The team of the organisation also respected the enquiries of the auditory Future workshop Bulgarian that were sent via internet.
The essential part of the president's work
The conversation started with a discussion about the opportunities that the presidential work gives. In the opinion of president Parvanov, this position is suitable for people with a strong and engaged political position on the main questions of the Bulgarian policy. This is the only way to make the work on this position meaningful and full of significant content. Furthermore, the president commented on his corporation with the three different prime ministers during his presidential period - Boyko Borisov, Sergey Stanishev and Simeon Saxecoburggotski. He declared that he worked most efficiently with Simeon Saxecoburggotski. That was during the period when Bulgaria was heading towards the EU and NATO. Within this context, the good corporation prime Minister created a good image of the country on the international political scene.
The membership of Bulgaria in NATO and EU
The president spoke during the interview about his efforts for the association of Bulgaria to the EU and NATO. He reminded us that they belong to the most important priorities of the Bulgarian policy. Additionally, he expressed the opinion that the European Union is not as a strong international power as he wishes. The lack of strong leaders and new ideas are the main reasons. He considers the membership of Bulgaria in NATO as reasonable. However, he thinks that NATOs position in international policy is not influential enough. It's rather close to the Periphery of the global political scene.
The president resumed the development of the positions of the two main political powers in Bulgaria in regards to the NATO membership before it became a fact. He stated he personally has an anti-military position and was against the Iraq War. He also expressed the opinion that the War in Yugoslavia could have been avoided. As an argument for this position, he mentioned the fact that Milosevic lost his power through peaceful means afterwards.
The reason for the formation of his own party
On the question, why Mr Parvanov founded his own party he answered that he wanted a reform in the left political space. In addition, he wanted to have a party which thinks about Bulgaria in perspective in order to reach a better life and more security for its citizens. Also, he expressed the opinion that not only Bulgaria but also the whole of Europe needs reform in the left parties.
Policies for the future development of the country
Talking about the future policy of Bulgaria the president gave examples with some fields that must be urgently reformed. He mentioned the social policy, the education and the health system in this context. The most important priority must be a national strategy for the development of Bulgaria in his opinion.
Defending the rights of workers against capital
From the background of his academic historical knowledge, the president believes that the social structure has changed radically in the last 100 years. He thinks that the terms “workers” and “capital” have gained new meaning. Poor people must be supported in order to receive more property and to develop own business and perspectives. He also believes that by protecting the rights of their workers business will secure its development.
How does the president want to be remembered?
Answering this question the president put an accent on the membership in NATO and the EU again. Furthermore, he wants to be remembered for the liberation of the nurses in Libya. In addition, he wants to be seen as a president who was engaged with real problems and who hasn't been changed by politics.