Mr. Kovachev, how do you get into the battle for the European elections? What are your expectations?
My expectations are for the European People’s Party to win the European elections and our nominee for committee chairman, Mr Manfred Weber, to become the next President of the European Commission. Populism and easy decisions are always the wrong decisions, so we also start with the clear conviction that we are giving the best ideas for the future of Bulgaria and the EU.
Will the internal political scandals affect the upcoming vote? Will they influence the election result?
We’ll see this on May 26th. I very much hope to have a debate about the future of Europe and what is it that offers that is specifically in the interests of our country, rather than leading the insidious topics that are sought as a compromise war.
The current European elections show low turnout in Bulgaria. How will you convince the Bulgarian voter that these elections are important and beyond this internal party opposition?
That is right. Not only in Bulgaria, but also in other EU countries. Insufficient people go out to exercise their right to vote. What we can do, and it is about all candidates, are to persuade the voter. At least I will go around and meet the voters all the time until the election, and I have done this throughout my mandate. We will convince citizens that the decisions of the EP are important and have an impact in our country. European solidarity – the funds we have from infrastructure funds, the environment, water cycles, education, young people, travel and education – all relate to the European Union and the decisions made in the European Parliament. So the European elections have a direct impact on our lives and it is a right and, in my opinion, the responsibility of each of us to give our voice.
The list of your main competitor in Bulgaria BSP is already approved. BSP leader Kornelia Ninova said they are heading for the European elections in order to win and trigger early elections. Is this possible in your view?
This is a mandatory rhetoric of every opposition, of course, that the opposition is seeking to take power. And as we know the BSP or better known in Bulgaria under the name of the PA, they have always used all of them, not just legal, but all kinds of ways to reach power. I believe in the wisdom of the majority of Bulgarians that they will not allow former and current communists to come back to managerial decisions in Bulgaria again. We know what the Communist regime was leading, then the Videnov years with hyperinflation and the misery that the rule of the former Communists always leads Bulgaria.
Once the BSP candidates have become clear, what kind of debate do you expect with them? Should we expect a clash of ideas for the future of Europe?
I do not intend to comment on the candidates. The vote will be given by the Bulgarian voter on May 26th. We want to have a positive campaign on the real topics of the European elections – European security, migration, the protection of the external borders, the multiannual financial framework, general defense capabilities, health and, in general, the sectoral policies that we can assert in the European Parliament as a national and Bulgarian interest. That’s what I want and I hope to see from the opponents of the various political formations. Compromise metering is not a decent and responsible policy.