European Socialists shield Georgieva from Bulgarian criticism

  

European Socialist MEPs expressed strong support for Kristalina Georgieva, the Bulgarian commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis response, after a senior member of the Bulgarian Socialist party slammed her for “not doing enough” in performing her duties.

MEPs mobilised to express support for Georgieva, who was accused by her compatriot Iliana Iotova, a Socialist MEP, for not doing enough to help Sofia deal with Syrian refugees seeking shelter in Bulgaria.

Iotova, who is one of the key figures of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), claimed that “some circles in Brussels” were unhappy with her work in countries in need of humanitarian aid.

“2 million euro were spent [sic] for problem countries, but now they tell us – we don’t want your little tents and your little blankets, they don’t solve our problems”, the Bulgarian press quoted Iotova as saying.

These attacks take place amid rising political tension in Bulgaria ahead of the European elections in May (see background).

>> Read: Influential MEP splits Bulgarian Socialist Party before EU election

The prime minister, Plamen Oresharski, a technocrat in charge of a minority government supported by the BSP, said last week that Georgieva could be a good candidate for commissioner following the European elections.

Georgieva, a former World Bank vice-president before taking on the role as commissioner in 2009, has no political affiliation. She was nominated by the centre-right government of GERB leader Boyko Borissov, after an unsuccessful attempt to place Rumiana Jeleva, a former foreign minister, in the commissioner post reserved for Bulgaria.

British Labour MEP Michael Cashman (Socialists & Democrats), who is a member of the European Parliament development committee which oversees Georgieva’s portfolio, expressed surprise at the criticism, saying Bulgarians should be proud of Georgieva's work as commissioner.

“Her accountability, transparency and commitment are undeniable and she has always involved the European Parliament and its members directly in the work that was undertaken. Her work ranks amongst the highest in the European Commission and Bulgarians should be rightly proud of her distinguished and tireless service at the heart of the EU," Cashman told EurActiv.

MEP Thijs Berman (S&D, Netherlands), said he deeply regretted that the BSP and Iotova had decided to launch an attack against Georgieva.

‘One of the best, if not the best’

“She is one of the best, if not the best commissioner," Berman said. "Highly effective outspoken, committed to her work, struggling with the lack of funds and always succeeding to obtain them in the last second, thanks to her strong personality”.

Berman, who is a rapporteur the Development Cooperation Instrument, said he has worked closely with Georgieva and that this had been “a great time” for him.

Eva Joly (Green/EFA group, France), who chairs the European Parliament's Development Committee, said the EU was “lucky” to have Georgieva for commissioner.

Joly said, under Georgieva's watch, the EU “did everything” to help the most vulnerable populations during major humanitarian crises in Haiti, Syria, Sudan or the Central African Republic.

“Kristalina Georgieva is a strong woman, highly qualified, honest and dedicated to the cause of solidarity and humanitarian law”, said Joly, expressing hope that she would be able to work with her in the future.

'Attacks not only personal'

Speaking to EurActiv, Georgieva said she would have ignored the attacks if they didn’t touch upon the EU's life-saving work in the context of the Syrian crisis

“If today from 2 million and 300,000 Syrian refugees only 60,000 have arrived to Europe, this is because we invest very actively in refugee protection, but also in the local communities where often they outnumber twice or threefold the number of local citizens”, Georgieva said.

She also said that if Lebanon and Jordan did not collapse under the challenge of Syrian refugees, this was thanks to an EU-led effort.

Georgieva rejected accusations that she did not do enough for help Bulgaria deal with refugees, saying she immediately offered whatever assistance the EU could provide. This included financial, technical and in-kind assistance from the EU’s civil protection service, as well as technical advice on border protection and the processing of asylum-seekers’ requests.

On her insistence, Antonio Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, provided financial assistance, a first for an EU member country.

Georgieva also reminded that the Commission disbursed €8 million to help Bulgaria deal with rising xenophobia caused by the sudden arrival of several thousands of refugees. In addition, a number of EU countries provided bilateral support in kind and in cash, she said. 

Positions: 

MEP Miguel Angel Martinez (PES, Spain), who is also Vice President of the European Parliament, sent to EurActiv the following statement following the publication of this article:

“I do not wish to comment the criticism that one or another of my colleagues may have expressed about the work of Commissioner Georgieva. What I am ready to state is my full appreciation for her record all along the legislature.”

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Comments

Stefan Manchev's picture

As a Bulgarian I'm proud of the work of Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva @Kgeorgievaeu organizing EU assistance to all people in distress in humanitarian crises around the world.

  Iliana Iotova, a Socialist MEP can only speak on behalf of a corrupt political party that has fewer voters in Bulgaria.

Elitsa Sotirova's picture

Аll Bulgarian MEP share the criticism of Commissioner Kr.Georgieva - not only socialist Mrs. Yotova, but other than Mrs. Parvanova and Mr. Kazak from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. The quoted British and Dutch socialists would not be so surprised by the words of Mrs. Yotova if they know how people in Bulgaria estimate the work done by Commissioner Georgieva.

Bob's picture

Elitsa Sotirova, every commissioner must follow the protocols and must judge every humanitation aid without personal influence. If the Bulgaria cannot followed the exact protocols and showed that it cannot give asylum to the seekers it's not Georgieva's fault. Don't blame the players for the rules in the game.

David D Y Choi's picture

Dear Shelter Manager or open-minded personnel under the Sky;

This is David Choi,
Who is placed at urgent status in which open-minded personnel’s support is required.

Firstly,
I am in searching of a reliable shelter’s site, where free of charge accommodation and some meals a day is eligible until I get requested work visa to survive under the Sky.

Secondly,
I am in searching of a reliable part time basis opportunity to cover three meals a day and requested work related visa application fee until I get normal job to survive under the Sky.

Last week,
My wife sold her personal stuff toward jewelry shop to extend life status without dying in hunger.

As I have been placed at job seeker' status and no income source since Aug 2013,
I am placed at less than poverty.

Considering of myself, I would be classified by sincere and diligent personnel.
Since early morning up to late evening, I sent tons of resumes toward domestic business sites in searching of a reliable income to cover daily living cost in homeland, S Korea.

In reality,
My efforts were in vain, there is no result to acquire daily living cost from my work in homeland, S Korea.
In here, I have to pay some requested monthly insurance bill toward the government bureau even if I did not acquire any income line from my work.

While I was in Canada, sometimes, income less condition even its case was rare,
There... monthly healthy fee from government was zero until I could get reliable income source.
For the personal story,

I have been in Canada as an indent immigration case during my 30s between 1994 and 2001.
From the point of current trend... major culture in homeland, I would be classified by extraordinary case among the common people in S Korea.

An old saying... story basis inherited content,
There lived ‘Baby General’ who had wings on his body.
Small, mountainous village people let the baby general die of suffocated with loaded heavy grain bag. That time, there was the government policy, in searching of potential danger... such as new power or some of strange power from a village inside of its territory.
The village people were afraid from the government dispatched military group.
Thus, they agreed to kill strange power equipped baby general… etc
In Korea, basis on group culture, there should not be extra ordinary personnel.
Its case should be eliminated by group basis culture. Killed by village people’s joined power before acquiring of its huge power from heaven.

Anyway..
there would be simple and single step to resolve my barrier.

I should find of a reliable shelter to reach at any of reliable work site where acquired work site would not be gone, under the name of ‘work termination notice’ within a week or so as I have experience over a decade between 1994 and 2013, joined work site numbers were over 45 etc.

Around you,
when there is an opportunity of residing to protect rain and night chilly temperature until I settle at designated long term basis… reasonable work site, please let me get its opportunity to survive.

I am awaiting your prompt and open-minded reply.

David D Y Choi ( Tel. +82-19-378-4105 ) cdyera@daum.net, duly@gmx.com
www.cdyera.wordpress.com

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