POLITICS

Joint projects between Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia

In Ruse, the Romanian Premier suggested to Bulgaria and Serbia institutional cooperation patterned on Visegrad Group.

Romania and Bulgaria’sGovernments on Friday met atRuse, northern Bulgaria, after athree-way meeting of RomanianPrime Minister Victor Ponta,Bulgarian Prime Minister PlamenOresharski and Serbian PrimeMinister Ivica Dacic. PrimeMinister Victor Ponta on Fridaydeclared himself in favour of moreconnections and joint projectsbetween Romania, Bulgaria, andSerbia.‘We really need joint projects,economic projects in energy infrastructure,transportation infrastructure;we need these projects to becompleted faster and better.Together with [Bulgarian] PrimeMinister [Plamen] Oresharski wehave inaugurated a bridge across theDanube, without forgetting that itsbuilding took 15 years. We needmore connections between us, builtfaster, and this is possible throughcollaboration between the threecountries,’ Ponta said after a trilateralmeeting with his Bulgarian andSerb counterparts in Ruse.Ponta also specified the possiblesource areas for the economicdevelopment. ‘(…) I will keep supportingRomanian companies willingto make regional investments inBulgaria [and] in Serbia. Secondly,from attracting European funds,especially those specified in theDanube Strategy; thirdly, from ourjoint participation into large investmentprojects within the frameworkof the Economic Forum andthe Economic Agreement betweenChina and Central and EasternEuropean countries. These are concretefinancing sources for projects;collaboration is necessary,’ theRomanian premier explained.As a matter of fact, PM Pontaextended an invitation to hisBulgarian and Serbian counterpartto create a group of institutionalcooperation among the three countiespatterned on the VisegradGroup, voicing conviction that agroup patterned on the VisegradGroup will be a win for the treecountries and speed up Serbia’sintegration with the EuropeanUnion.At the same time, PrimeMinister Ponta congratulatedSerbia’s Government for havingbegun accession negotiations withthe European Union and reiteratedRomania and Bulgaria’s support.Ponta suggested Romanian city ofCraiova become the meeting placefor officialising cooperation amongthe three countries, arguing thatCraiova is at equal distance fromBucharest, Belgrade and Sofia.

ROMANIA, BULGARIA, READYFOR SCHENGEN

Romania and Bulgaria are ‘perfectlyprepared’ to enter theSchengen Area, said PrimeMinister Victor Ponta. ‘We want touphold the standards regarding therule of law, an independent, efficientjustice and implicitly that tomean a better life for our citizens,including a rapid decision this yearin regards to airports and maritimeborders and as soon as possibleregarding land borders, becauseBulgaria and Romania … are perfectlyprepared to be members ofthe Schengen Area,’ said Ponta inRuse at the end of the joint cabinetmeeting between the Romanianand Bulgarian executives.

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