Romanian, Bulgarian and Greek prime ministers, Viorica Dăncilă, Boiko Borisov and Alexis Tsipras, and also Serbian President have met in Bucharest on Tuesday for the four-party regional meeting to discuss the economic cooperation and concrete regional projects.
“It’s the third meeting of this format that has proved its added value in promoting our regional joint projects. I appreciate Serbia’s role as stability factor in the Western Balkans and its positive contribution in the process of cooperation and reconciliation and I assure the Serbian president of our full support in the negotiation process with the European Union,” said the Romanian premier Viorica Dăncilă.
She also stated the Romanian will endorse Bulgaria when it takes over the EU Council Presidency, while pointing out that Greece is a key partner for Romania in the region.
“We want to boost our bilateral, regional and European collaboration. These consultations are providing a good opportunity to enhance dialogue and identify new collaboration ways in the southeastern region, especially for the economic development. We discussed about the concrete projects that the four states can develop, about the 16+1 format,” Dăncilă said.
In his turn, Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vučić, has asked for stronger endorsement in the process of Serbia’s accession to the EU.
“As Serbia is the only country of the four that is not a EU member state yet, it is very important that we benefit from the support of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece for Serbia’s European path. In its turn, Serbia will do everything in its power to help these friend countries. We will accept an even stronger support on behalf of Bucharest, Athens and Sofia on our European path. We would like you to help us, for, if we were in your place, we would. We want to become a member state of the EU, but without your firm support we wouldn’t be able to do this,” Vučić stated.
The Serbian President pointed out that concrete projects have been discussed at the meeting.
“I am pleased with the concrete results that we have reached. We have discussed about opportunities such as Moravita – Timisoara motorway, also the construction of a motorway to link us to Bulgaria, the conclusion of the Serbian section of motorway that leads to Skopje. We have talked about possibilities to modernise the railway to the Bulgarian border. Moreover, we discussed about the ways to improve the digital infrastructure and cooperation with these states within the EU. We have talked about the possibility to solve common issues and the implementation of joint working groups can help,” the Serbian head of state said.
Vučić added that the commodities exchange between Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece has increased in the past years, while the flow of tourists to Serbia and from Serbia to the three partner countries was also on an upward trend.
Bulgarian PM Boiko Borisov congratulated the Romanian counterpart Viorica Dăncilă for taking office, while stating that Bulgaria has supported the need to bring the Western Balkans issue on the European agenda. “Together with my colleagues from Romania and Greece we must do our best to bring the countries in this region back to the European family,” Boiko Borisov stressed.
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras also stated that the aim of these meetings is to talk about the cooperation in the Western Balkans to ensure peace, stability and security in the region.
“We have always faced serious challenges in the region. It’s a region that has generated a whole series of national issues, wars, but, on the other hand, it’s a region that provides very promising possibilities and we are here to face these challenges (…) We, the Balkan states are called to establish the development pattern of the region based on the wished of our countries, of our citizens, and not based on some agenda set somewhere else, by a third party. Our aim is to develop the region and turn this cooperation in a permanent initiative in a difficult time of globalization. That means we must closely cooperate and benefit of all possibilities to the utmost,” Alexis Tsipras concluded.