Interview With Borislav Sandov Green MEP candidate in Bulgaria

OneEurope is presenting a series of interviews with MEPs in order to help Europeans make an informed decision for the elections. You can find the others in our debate on the European Elections 2014.

Borislav Sandov is the third candidate of the Bulgarian Greens for a place in the European Parliament. He is one of the three co-chairs of the party and has been involved in various campaigns and protests during the past years.

OneEurope: What made you stand as a MEP candidate again?

Borislav Sandov MEP: I believe in the right to elect and to be elected. I also believe in change. I think that I did a lot for the green causes, for democracy and for the people since the last elections. That is why I am looking for the support of the people again. In 2009 just a small number of active citizens knew more about me and the Greens. I hope that now their number is higher and that we are now more recognizable and preferred.

OE: What would be the first thing that you would do in Brussels, if you were elected?

BS: I will start with all the petitions and complains from Bulgaria. I will prioritize the most important and urgent ones and I will start solving the problems that they point out. I will also open a green office in Brussels where I will be able to meet Bulgarians who live there or travel there often, as well as any other European citizens who want me to represent them in the European Parliament.

OE: Bulgarians have been protesting for almost one year now. Do you think that the protests will come to their end soon and how can this happen?

BS: The Bulgarians have been protesting for more than a year. I have taken part in different protests in the last 6 years. Most of those protests were successful and that is how Bulgaria managed to stop the GMO, fracking, ACTA, the building of protected territories etc. The last big protests are against the government that is non-legitimate, supported by just 10% of the population. I believe that the protests will continue and will lead to new parliamentary elections in 2014. I hope that the protests will continue to be peaceful and that they will include even more citizens, because the protests teach us to be politically responsible and active. That is crucial for the democratic development of our country and of the world.

OE: Why do you think the Greens are still not that popular in Bulgaria, as they are in other parts of the EU?

BS: The Greens in West Europe needed decades to win the support they enjoy now. The Berlin wall has postponed this process in East Europe, but we can see that it is already in action now. On the other hand, the censorship in the media and the disloyal acts of the political opponents are trying to save the political status quo. Luckily, there is the social media now and more and more people use the Internet. Moreover, since 2007 Bulgaria is a member state of the EU and we can use the good example of the older member states in which the green policies work. For the Greens, which we created at that time, this is a chance to be part of the process “for more Europe” in Bulgaria.

OE: Would you support the proposal of the Polish Prime Minister Tusk for a European energy union?

BS: Yes, I would support it, although our vision is more concerned with the energy independence of the households, the farms and the business. The real solutions for independence are not connected with a change of the suppliers, but with the production of more renewable energy. Of course, this is why we need a transition that is already taking place in Europe and until it is finalized, it will be useful to have a common energy union and a common energy network. Tusk’s proposal is not new, as something similar was underlying the EU Energy Green paper in 2006.

OE: What do you think about the winner of Eurovision song contest this year?

BS: I think that the focus shifted a lot and the competition became political. In the end, the idea is to evaluate the artistic and musical qualities of people.

OE: If you could change one thing that happened in the EU during the last 12 months, what would it be?

BS: I was active in the campaign for amendments on the Assessment Directive on Environmental Impact that was supposed to make the oil and gas companies to make a specialized evaluation for each drilling. That would have raised awareness about the risks that fracking brings and would have initiated a lot of debates in the communities that would have resulted in stopping the damaging implementation of this technology in Europe. We succeeded in convincing the majority of the European Parliament to support this change, but in the end it was rejected by the European Council. If I could change anything, it would be exactly that these amendments of the directive would have been accepted.

OE: Anything you might have liked me to ask you?

BS: Yes, it would have been great, if you had asked me a question about our vision of the economy of the EU, as The Greens work hard not only on the ecological and democratic questions, but also on the issues connected to economy and employment. Our conception of a Green new deal for Europe that will push us towards green economy and million new green workplaces is a key solution for the crisis in Europe. It is also a good chance for independence and competitiveness globally. A key question in that regard is the rejections of the proposal for TTIP which would decrees the standards for environment and health in the EU.