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Prime Minister David Cameron visits Bulgaria

Prime Minister David Cameron visited Bulgaria on 3-4 December – the first visit to the country by a serving UK Prime Minister for 16 years.

Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in Bulgaria on 3 December.
Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in Bulgaria on 3 December and was met by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

The visit, which included talks with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, highlighted the growing importance of the relations between the UK and Bulgaria.

Prime Minister Cameron’s arrival followed a visit by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to Sofia in January 2015, as well as Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Rumiana Bachvarova’s official trip to London in November 2015.

The main subject under discussion was the EU reform, with the British Prime Minister continuing to make the case for a more effective EU that cuts regulation and promotes competitive business, protects the single market for countries which, like Bulgaria and Britain, are not in the Euro zone, and helps deliver more jobs and prosperity for all.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev discussed the benefits of the EU reform.
Prime Minister David Cameron and Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev discussed the benefits of the EU reform.

Both Prime Ministers and the President also visited the newly-completed Science and Technology Park Sofia, where they attended the GREAT Innovation Exchange - an event designed to match UK and Bulgarian businesses and foster new partnerships, and saw the GREAT Innovation Showcase - an exhibition displaying examples of cutting-edge British innovations.

Prime Minister David Cameron, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and President Plevneliev at the GREAT Innovation Showcase.
Prime Minister David Cameron, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and President Plevneliev at the GREAT Innovation Showcase.

The second day of the visit was devoted to a trip to the Lesovo border crossing on the Bulgarian-Turkish border, as well as to the Regional Border Police Directorate in Elhovo, where Prime Minister Cameron and Prime Minister Borissov discussed security, terrorism and the ongoing migration crisis.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov visited the Bulgarian-Turkish border and discussed the ongoing cooperation on security.
Prime Minister David Cameron and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov visited the Bulgarian-Turkish border and discussed the ongoing cooperation between the two countries on combating organised crime and terrorism.

Ambassador Emma Hopkins OBE said:

It has been a pleasure to welcome the Prime Minister to Bulgaria. His visit recognises the strength of the relationship between the UK and Bulgaria – as trading partners, EU members and NATO Allies.

Britain knows that Bulgaria is on the front line of the migration crisis and like the UK wants to see a more competitive and efficient EU that actively supports trade and security. We were also able to show the Prime Minister a handful of the thousands of British and Bulgarian companies collaborating to produce better products, reach more markets, create more jobs and generate more revenue.

I am also very grateful for the Bulgarian Government for pulling out all the stops to show our Prime Minister the kind of hospitality for which Bulgaria is famous.

Published 7 December 2015