Prime Minister Viorica Dancila on Tuesday welcomed Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, at the Romanian Government House in Bucharest.
Danicila, Borisov, Tsipras and Vucic attended a high-level Romania – Bulgaria – Greece – Serbia quadrilateral meeting .
At the beginning of Tuesday’s government sitting, Dancila said that the meeting in the Romania – Bulgaria – Greece – Serbia format proved its usefulness and added value for the promotion of common objectives at European level.
“It is a great pleasure to us to host a high-level Romania- Bulgaria -Greece -Serbia meeting today. Meetings in this format have proved useful and their added value in advancing our common goals at European level,” Dancila said.
According to the Romanian Government, the debates at the meeting focused on regional inter-connection projects, Serbia’s EU accession and the European perspectives for the whole region.
The meeting ended in the evening with an official dinner offered by Dancila in honour of the high-ranking guests.
This quadrilateral meeting attended by the prime ministers of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece and the president of Serbia is the third edition in this format, after those of October 2017 in Varna and December 2017 in Belgrade.
Dancila: We discussed economic co-operation, concrete projects
PM Dancila announced on Tuesday having discussed with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov economic co-operation and concrete projects that the four countries can develop.
“This talks format provides a good opportunity to strengthen the dialogue and identify ways for co-operation in South-East Europe, especially in terms of economic development. We have discussed today economic co-operation, concrete projects that the four states can develop; a 16 + 1 format and a meeting where to materialise the projects that we have discussed today,” Dancila told a joint news conference at the Romanian Government House in Bucharest with the Serbian president and the Greek and the Bulgarian prime ministers.
Serbia’s President Vucic: We accept stronger support from Bucharest, Athens and Sofia on European path
Serbia will accept an even stronger support on behalf of Bucharest, Athens and Sofia on its path to the EU, the Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic stated at the end of the high-level quadrilateral meeting Romania-Bulgaria-Greece-Serbia, which took place on Tuesday at Victoria Palace.
“These meetings are highly relevant for our countries, Serbia being the only one of them which 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 so that Serbia, in its turn, will do everything in its power to help these friend countries and we will do in a direct manner. 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, 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,” Aleksandar Vucic stated.
The Serbian President specified that “very concrete discussions” were carried out during the meeting in Bucharest .
“The conclusion is that we will establish a joint working group, in which the Communication and Transport Ministers in our countries will be represented, we will talk more concretely the joint projects and we will work closely to prepare for the organisation of the 16+1 format meeting, due to take place in July, in the course of this year. We have also discussed matters related to financing and a series of common activities. The commodities exchange between Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece has increased in the last years. The flow of tourists to Serbia has also grown and as well from Serbia to these three countries. We deem these meetings very relevant for our countries,” Vucic mentioned.
The Serbian President also referred to the common projects discussed at the meeting.
“I am pleased with the concrete results that we have recorded today. For Serbia’s citizens we have discussed about opportunities such as Moravita – Timisoara motorway, also the construction of a motorway to link us to Bulgaria, the finalisation of our section of motorway that leads to Skopje. We have talked about possibilities to modernise the railway towards the Bulgarian border. Additionally, we discussed about 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,” Vucic further said.
Borisov: Bulgaria – Romania – Greece – Serbia format is constructive
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on Tuesday that the continued existence of the Bulgaria – Romania – Greece – Serbia quadrilateral format is a clear sign that it has been a constructive, productive one, stating that he wants further projects that will lead to the development of the four countries.
“I would say that the mere fact that this format of cooperation continues to exist is a clear sign that it has been a constructive, productive format and we would like to mention that we want to continue to do things to bring us closer, not to separate us, we want to have an infrastructure that connects us with Europe and the rest of the world, we want to increase the level of economic development, improve tourism and make progress in all other economic sectors,” Borisov said.
The head of the Sofia Executive mentioned that the Romanian prime minister proposed a series of “very important” projects, one of which being a new bridge over the Danube at Ruse.
“We also mentioned the possibility of building a motorway connecting our capital cities, also connecting the port of Thessaloniki with the ports in Bulgaria and Romania, improving the connectivity with Belgrade, Bratislava with Skopje. Greece and Serbia have also got involved, in this initiative to improve connectivity at regional level with Pristina,” Borisov said.
The Bulgarian prime minister also stressed the importance of the issues related to the Western Balkans.
“I am very proud of the political elites of the Balkans at the moment, because I do not remember having had in history elites so responsible in the Balkan countries and I think we are all realizing that we are now part of the European family and there is no alternative to the European perspective for the Western Balkans. We will continue in this quadripartite format, at the end of June probably we will meet again, followed by the 16+1 meeting in July,” Borisov said.