December 21 (BTA) – Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov conferred with French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune, the government press office said here on Tuesday. The two sides discussed the priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first half of 2022. Petkov stressed that Bulgaria is ready to actively participate in the common European efforts to protect the EU external borders, guarantee rule of law and conduct economic reforms. Both sides agreed on the importance of the EU measures for tackling the energy crisis. Beaune assured Petkov that France highly appreciates Bulgaria’s efforts to integrate the Western Balkans to the EU and develop good unneighborly relations. Petkov briefed Beaune on the main priorities of the new Bulgarian government which can use France’s experience in sectors like digitalization. The Bulgarian Prime Minister also voiced hope for closer cooperation between Bulgaria and France.