Actions speak louder than words!

Monday, 29 January 2018




the Atlantic Council of Bulgaria

on the Updated National Security Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria

January 28, 2018


The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria welcomes the draft Updated National Security Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria (UNSS). Being a chief national strategic document, the UNSS provides a realistic assessment of the security environment and outlines key options in sectoral policies that are aimed at achieving the national interests. New sectoral policies are timely incorporated into the document, such as cybersecurity, transport security and crisis management policies. A positive development is the taking into account of hybrid threats and the adverse shift in the military and strategic balance of power in the Black Sea following the illegitimate and illegal annexation of the Crimea by Russia. We welcome the presence of the commitment made at the NATO Wales Summit of 2014 to increase the defense expenditure to 2% of GDP. We support the updated texts with regard to the implementation by Bulgaria of its agreed NATO Capability Targets and the respective projects and initiatives concerning the buildup of EU defense capabilities, including by way of using the NATO agencies, the European Defense Fund, as well as through bilateral and/or multilateral projects with our allies. The necessity of a comprehensive Armed Forces’ modernization is stressed upon.

The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria considers that the debates in Parliament on the draft UNSS must address also the following important issues:

  • The political support at the state level is decisive to attain the goals written down into the draft UNSS.  However, at the current moment, we do not see the presence of enough resolve within the Government, in particular concerning defense.
  • As a positive example of existence of enough political commitment within the state leadership served the adopted in 1998 National Security Concept, upon which was based the then Military Doctrine. These two strategic documents provided the conceptual foundation for achieving the strategic goal of Bulgaria joining NATO and EU. Twenty years later, it is essential to yet again attain national consensus and unity in actions, in order to make Bulgaria a more effective and a more valued member of NATO and EU, that is seamlessly integrated into their defense initiatives, processes and structures.
  • A new National Defense Strategy must be elaborated following the adoption by Parliament of the draft UNSS.
  • The new National Defense Strategy as well as the next Armed Forces Development Program, which is yet to come, must provide for the option of deploying multinational NATO and EU military formations on our territory as well as the option of affiliation of Bulgarian military formations with existing allied formations in other countries.
  • The above said is valid also for the necessity to expand the prospects to carry out joint Air Policing missions in our country with the support of NATO allies.
  • In order to better fulfill the defense policy priorities, it is necessary to implement the objective, agreed at the National Security Consultative Council’s session on January 9, 2018, to update the National Plan to Increase the Defense Expenditure to 2% of the GDP by 2024 that was adopted by Government on January 4, 2018. The timeframe of the Plan must be updated, in order to reach the goal of 2% by 2021.
  • The draft UNSS provides a good strategic conceptual framework for elaborating and adopting a new and financially provided for Program for the Development of the Defense Capabilities „Bulgaria in NATO and the European Defense” 2030. We insist that the favorable conditions resulting from the UNSS are put into practice, which depends on the presence of political will both in Parliament and Government.

The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria is closely monitoring and is supporting with its expertise and know-how all the institutional intents and actions with regard to the practical implementation of the UNSS objectives and goals, that are aimed at strengthening the role of our country in NATO and in the European defense.




Program “National and International Security”



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