Saturday, 6 June 2009

Emine Gyulestan: "The Western Balkans and Turkey should join the EU when they meet the Copenhagen criteria"

Emine Gyulestan was born in 1986 in Momtchilgrad, Bulgaria. She holds a Bachelor degree in Balkan studies and International relations from the American university in Bulgaria. Her interests include the culture and history of the whole Balkan region. Speaks English, Greek and Turkish.

Q: What direction should the EU take - towards United States of Europe or towards Europe of the Nations?

A: I think there's a common ground between the two visions - cooperation between the member-states. The question is about the extent of that cooperation - whether the emphasis should fall on integration of the different nations or mostly on economic cooperation. I think it would be perfect if we can a find a combination of the two projects.

Q: What’s your opinion on the issue of enlargement? Should the Western Balkans and Turkey join the union and when?

A: There are certain criteria that the Western Balkans need to meet, just as Bulgaria and Romania did before joining the EU. From Bulgarian point of view, I believe that it is better to be surrounded by states in stable economic condition which are integrated in the EU. If Bulgaria manages to help the Western Balkans in that sense we shall deserve a very good image and credit.

Q: What should be the priorities of the Bulgarian membership in the EU?

A: As a young person I see education as priority. With the proper education and proper qualities, we can better integrate in the European family and be competitive.

Q: What would be your personal priorities if you would become a Bulgarian representative in the European Parliament?

A: My personal priority is education which is very important especially for Balkan countries like Bulgaria. There are minorities in the Bulgarian society like the Roma which don't manage to use the opportunities to tackle their problems. I believe there should be a unified European educational system to enable and strengthen the mechanisms for student mobility in all the 27 member-states.

Emine Gyulestan is tenth on the list of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) in the European Parliament elections.

P.S. The interview has been made with the assistance of the Bulgarian National Television.

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