The future of Europe is a return to patriotism, Bulgarian MEP Angel Dzhambazki told a conference on the ‘Future of Europe’ in Sofia. Dzhambazki is expected to be the lead candidate of the Bulgarian nationalist VMRO party in the European elections in May. EURACTIV’s partner Dnevnik reports.
VMRO (also known as VMRO-BND) is a member of the United Patriots coalition, a nationalist alliance in Bulgaria that is a junior partner in Boyko Borissov’s coalition government. It is formed by three political parties: VMRO, the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria (NFSB), and Ataka (Attack).
In the European Parliament, Dzhambazki sits with the ECR group, founded by the British conservatives.
The Bulgarian nationalists had nearly 15% support in the presidential election in 2016, then fell to 10% in the parliamentary elections and, according to recent polls, may not pass the 5% threshold to be represented in the European Parliament and have been slowly disintegrating because of internal strife.
According to Dzhambazki, patriotism and nationalism amount to the same thing expressed in different ways. “Education is a sphere that should not be subject to EU regulation, and we must not allow propaganda aimed at self-determination of gender,” Dzhambazki insisted.
‘To make Bulgaria great’
According to him, another sphere that should not be subject to European regulation is the judiciary. “Our task is to be the leading Balkan state, to make Bulgaria great,” the MEP added.
The conference, titled “The Future of Europe: Traditionalism, Christian Values, Patriotism”, was also attended by the Minister of Environment and Water Neno Dimov, who said that today in Europe liberalism was the poison and conservatism – the treatment. “In the elections, we have to start healing our Europe of nations”, Dimov insisted.
Dimov is considered a climate change denier, which didn’t prevent him from chairing the Environment Council during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The NFSB of former Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov has recently announced that it had cancelled negotiations for running in the European elections together with VMRO, after a failed attempt by the United Patriots to discuss a joint approach for the elections.
NFSB announced that Simonov would be its top candidate on the list for European Parliament elections. VMRO then said it would participate in the vote alone and it is still unclear if there is any room for rapprochement between the two.
Simonov gained notoriety in Brussels last year, when he verbally attacked Ska Keller, co-President of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament.
Actually, Keller was first attacked by Dzhambazki, who posted a text in his Facebook account, suggesting that Keller was part of “extreme left-wing green extremists supporting the Islamic invasion of Europe”.
Then Simeonov, Deputy Prime Minister at that time, posted comments and insults in which he called Kelled “a green jihadist”. Some of the comments could be interpreted as threatening for her life.
Back in 2014, the European Peoples’ Party (EPP) had warned its sister GERB party of Boyko Borissov not to enter in coalition with the nationalists.
[Edited by Zoran Radosalvljevic and Georgi Gotev]