Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu announced on Thursday that a joint meeting of the governments of Romania and Bulgaria will take place this spring in Craiova, Agerpres informs.
“I talked with my counterpart about the preparation for the next joint meeting of the governments. It will be the third joint meeting of the two governments. It is invaluable means for promoting privileged bilateral cooperation between the two countries,” said Aurescu, during a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart, Daniel Mitov.
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov had on Thursday formal consultations with Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu. During the talks, the two officials discussed both issues on the bilateral and European agenda.
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov said on Thursday that the gas interconnection between Romania and Bulgaria is very important for the energy security of Europe, from north to south, while Aurescu pleaded also for the Romania-Bulgaria-Greece corridor.
“Southeast Europe is very dependent on gas supplies from Russia and due to the proximity of Ukraine this problem is increasingly obvious. These countries (in Southeast Europe) have a huge potential to diversify the gas sources and to create a European energy market to provide gas for all EU citizens is a task that should not be delayed. In this respect, building the systems of interconnection between Bulgaria and Romania is very important for the energy security architecture in Europe, from north to south,” Mitov said on Thursday while in Bucharest, Mediafax reports.
“For us it is high priority to make this connection with Romania,” added Mitov.
Romanian FM Bogdan Aurescu said that he discussed with his Bulgarian counterpart “about the importance of the gas interconnector between Romania and Bulgaria and its swift completion, but equally we talked about another project that is supported by the two countries, namely Romania-Bulgaria-Greece vertical corridor.”
The two ministers mentioned during the discussions in Bucharest, the upward “trend” of trade between the two countries (about EUR 3 billion in 2014), Romania being the third economic partner of Bulgaria in the EU.
Schengen accession of Romania and Bulgaria would strengthen EU fight against terrorism
Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Thursday that Romania and Bulgaria’s Schengen accession would strengthen the EU’s ability to fight terrorism, as the two countries would have access to more databases.
Aurescu said he has discussed with his Bulgarian counterpart about “ways to promote” the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen Area, an objective “which remains a priority for us.”
“There is no doubt that Romania’s and Bulgaria’s access to the Schengen area will not only strengthen the EU’s ability to fight terrorism, because it will give us access to several databases and will allow us to cooperate in a more solid way than we do now. Romania is already acting as a de facto Schengen state and I’m sure Bulgaria does the same. But the Schengen accession could further enhance this effort,” said Aurescu.
Asked about a common strategy and Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) and the Schengen issue, Bulgarian FM Daniel Mitov said the two issues should remain separate.