The meeting was part of a series of discussions on national security which underlined the close relationship between the UK and Bulgaria.
Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Rumiana Bachvarova met British Home Secretary Theresa May as part of an official visit to London. The Home Secretary praised the cooperation between the UK and Bulgaria in the area of national security and law enforcement. During the meeting, the ministers discussed the EU migration crisis, the continuation of the two countries’ joint efforts in combating organised crime on national and EU levels, counter-terrorism measures, as well as the efficiency of national security structures.
Deputy Prime Minister Bachvarova commented:
Contemporary crime and security threats are a global concern and call for a coordinated response. The co-operation with partner security structures not only leads to direct results, but also helps build on capacity and the Ministry of Interior officers’ skills at the same pace at which global trends develop.
The discussion also focused on the reform of the home affairs systems in Bulgaria and the UK – an important topic for both countries. The Home Secretary talked about the UK’s difficult but productive experience in this area, and stressed the ongoing need for transforming the UK and EU national security structures in a way that reflects contemporary challenges. She added that these reforms are necessary because the types of crime these structures combat, in order to guarantee the security of the citizens, are different now than in the past. She also noted the important role new technologies play in increasing the effectiveness of police work.
A main focus of the visit were the UK national security structures and the possibility of adapting the successful UK model to the Bulgarian structures. Bachvarova learned about the importance of the British National Security Council in identifying threats and ensuring coordinated, cross-governmental responses.
As part of the visit Bachvarova also met with the National Security Advisor, who reports directly to the Prime Minister, the Director of National Crime Agency, as well as with senior officials from the Metropolitan Police and from across Her Majesty Government’s national security structures. During her meetings at the NCA, Bachvarova discussed best practice and deepening the relationship between our law enforcement agencies with a focus on counter-terrorism, organised crime, and raising professional standards.
Ambassador Emma Hopkins OBE, who also took part in the meetings and stressed that dealing with migratory pressure and guaranteeing national security is no easy task for Bachvarova and her team. She commented:
At her meetings with the Home Secretary, senior officials at the Foreign Office, NCA and the Metropolitan Police, Deputy Prime Minister Bachvarova spoke of her commitment to tackling these big issues, as well as setting out her agenda for reform. The meetings underline the depth and breadth of the relationship between the UK and Bulgaria.
Bachvarova also met with Minister for Europe David Lidington, who explained the UK’s position on the EU Reform.
Note to Editors:
The National Security Council is the main forum for collective discussion of the government’s objectives for national security and how best to deliver them in the current financial climate.
A key purpose of the Council is to ensure that ministers consider national security in the round and in a strategic way. The Council meets weekly and is chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron.
The National Crime Agency leads UK law enforcement’s fight to cut serious and organised crime. It has national and international reach and the mandate and powers to work in partnership with other law enforcement organisations to bring the full weight of the law to bear on serious and organised criminals.
Today, the Metropolitan Police Service employs around 31,000 officers together with about 13,000 police staff and 2,600 PCSOs. The Metropolitan Police Services covers an area of 620 square miles and a population of 7.2 million.