On July 14, the national holiday of the French Republic, a large number of guests gathered in the garden and the halls of the "Lozenets" residence in Sofia. H. E. Mr. Joël Meyer,

ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the French Republic to the Republic of Bulgaria, and his spouse welcomed ministers, deputies, ambassadors, journalists, cultural figures, French men and women, Francophones and Francophiles, all people carrying in their hearts the motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity."

The formal reception began with the national anthems of Bulgaria and France, performed by the soprano Ina Kancheva and her orchestra, followed by the European Union anthem in instrumental rendition.

Then, H. E. Mr. Joël Meyer moved everyone present greeting them and thanking for their presence in Bulgarian. He continued in French, first wishing success to Bulgaria's new government and expressing gratitude for the dialogue that has taken place in recent months. He emphasized that France considers Bulgaria a strategic partner within the context of the European Union, highlighting the importance of collective security for our national interests, our partnership in combating organized crime and human trafficking, and economic and industrial cooperation, especially in the field of energy, mobility, and cultural cooperation. He specifically emphasized our shared common mission - Francophonie, to which Bulgaria joined 30 years ago. He reminded that the French language is the language of Pierre de Coubertin and stated: "The countdown that has just begun to the Olympic Games in Paris next year will provide an opportunity for hosting many events in the coming months, dedicated to sport in all its dimensions, including as a factor of inclusion, with the aim of popularizing it, but also for using the French language during sports events." You can see and hear the ambassador's full speech on the Facebook page of the French Embassy.

On the Bulgarian side, greetings to those present were delivered by Mrs. Iliana Yotova, Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria. She reminded that the national motto of France, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," is now a motto for the whole world and is becoming increasingly relevant. "In recent years, after the crises that have followed one after another, these three words have become cherished words for each of us, for every people, for every nation. And they remind us every time that since the distant year of 1789 when they were recorded in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, this motto is an indelible motto of humanity." 

The Vice President emphasized the significant role of France in building the EU and the "Europe of the future." She thanked the French for their support for Bulgaria's decision to become a member of the Schengen Area and the Eurozone. She also mentioned the importance of our membership in the International Organization of La Francophonie.

After the official part, all those present engaged in lively conversations in the cool garden, savoring emblematic French food products and, of course, enjoying fine French wines and champagne.

Photos: Embassy of the French Republic in the Republic of Bulgaria and "Diplomatic Spectrum"