The cooperation of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Romania will make the European Union even stronger, Bulgarian Premier Boyko Borisov said on Friday in Varna at the summit of the four Balkan countries.
This meeting format always pursues a common goal, (…) that of increasing transport, infrastructure, and digital connectivity in the European Union. (…) Our friendship is not targeted against the EU, but on the contrary, our cooperation will turn the EU even stronger, Boyko Borisov told a joint press conference delivered with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Romanian Premier Viorica Dancila and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which was translated and released on the Romanian Government’s Facebook page.
In his turn, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the Bulgaria – Serbia – Greece – Romania high-level meeting in Varna, that was also joined by the Israeli Premier, discussed energy connectivity, an aspect of utmost importance for the Balkans. He mentioned that the Timisoara – Pancevo highway was also a subject of talks, given the high importance of rail and road connectivity.
Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras said that a joint declaration on transport will be signed following the meeting in Varna, setting out the steps and the calendar for carrying out highly important projects, specifically upgrading the Alexandroupolis – Burgas – Varna rail connection. The construction of a speedway from Alexandroupolis to the region of Maritsa was also discussed, and a working group will be set up to see to the fast implementation of these projects. Opportunities to invest in the regions energy security were also on the agenda of the summit talks, PM Tsipras said.
Premier Dancila: I underlined necessity of doing more for Europe’s energy security
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila underlined on Friday, in Varna, at the high-level meeting among Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Israel the necessity of doing more for Europe’s energy security, especially through diversifying supply sources and speeding up interconnections.
“I had the opportunity of reassessing the stage of the joint projects in the area of transport and energy infrastructure. (…) I underlined the necessity of doing more for Europe’s energy security, especially through diversifying the supply sources and speeding up interconnections. (…) In transport, I reaffirmed Romania’s interest for creating a working group (…) that will analyse the feasibility studies both tied to motorways, and to building new bridges across the Danube, as it is the case of Romania and Bulgaria,” Prime Minister Dancila told a joint press release with Serbian president, Aleksandar Vucic and Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boiko Borisov, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that was posted on the Romanian Government’s Facebook page.
According to Prime Minister Dancila, during the discussions there were topics regarding boosting cooperation within the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region.
“Next week, we will organize in Bucharest the national EUSDR Forum ( European Union Strategy for the Danube Region), in the context of Romania taking over the EUSDR presidency from Bulgaria. During our mandate we wish to identify the added value of this European strategy to ensure the economic development of social cohesion and for diminishing the regional and territorial development disparities at the European Union’s level. We want the Danube to become an important transport corridor between Western and Eastern Europe. Which is why, it is very important to create a proper framework to ensure seaworthiness on the Danube, throughout the entire year, creating the necessary conditions on the sectors we are managing with the Bulgarian side,” Viorica Dancila showed.
She also said that the Varna meeting was a good opportunity for continuing the dialogue “regarding regional cooperation, starting from shared interest in ensuring stability, prosperity and security, objectives that are even more important in the current geopolitical context.”
“I reaffirmed Romania’s commitment for building a cohesive and well-integrated region, that will include Balkan states as a premise for a durable growth in the region. (…) I underscored that, for Romania, political cohesion is and must remain the main investment policy at the level of the European Union, contributing significantly to promoting balanced development of member states and regions,” Dancila said.
“We are confident the Timisoara – Pancevo speedway project will materialize soon”
The project regarding the Timisoara-Pancevo speedway enjoys the political support of both countries involved, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila stated on Friday in Varna, adding that it could materialize in the near future.
“The project regarding the Timisoara – Pancevo speedway enjoys the political backing of both countries involved and we are confident that will materialize it in the near future. In technical terms, we have already established the calendar for the re-approval of the feasibility study,” said Prime Minister Dancila at the joint press conference held with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
Moreover, Dancila specified that the commercial exchanges between Romania and Serbia have increased constantly over the past years.
“The excellent bilateral relation that we have with Serbia – we are soon to celebrate the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2019 – is best reflected in the trade exchanges level, which have constantly increased over the past years. We are confident that the upward trend will maintain, considering the potential offered by both our economies (…). We are looking with optimism towards the year 2021, when Timisoara and Novi Sad will be European Capitals of Culture, which will offer us the occasion to promote some common projects,” said Dancila.
She showed that the Serbian President Vucic spoke in Varna about “the challenges facing the European journey of Serbia.”
“We are confident that the negotiations will advance at a faster pace, due to our own merits and due to the fact that we met all the commitments and criteria stipulated by the European Union Treaty,” said Dancila.
PM Dancila: We want to attract as many investors as possible from Israel to Romania
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said on Friday in Varna that the Romanian Government wants to attract as many as possible investors from Israel and to capitalize on the existing economic potential between the two states.
“As far as Romania’s cooperation with Israel is concerned, we are interested in capitalizing to the most the potential in the economic field, and we want to attract as many investors as possible from Israel to Romania in the future. A good example of cooperation with the State of Israel, which will help capitalizing on this potential, are the advanced negotiations on a new technology partnership meant to stimulate the mutual interest of the business community in the two countries,” said Premier Dancila in a joint press release with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
At the same time, Dancila congratulated the Bulgarian premier for inviting also the Israeli Prime Minister to the talks of the Bulgaria-Romania-Serbia-Greece quadrilateral meeting in Varna.
“There are important themes that we can discuss with the Israeli Prime Minister, such as energy cooperation, the fight against terrorism, cyber crime, and Israel’s support for regional connectivity projects. (…) One of the topics discussed was also the current debate on the future of the European Union, a process that will be a central theme during the Presidency of Romania at the Council of the European Union. Thus, today’s meeting offered a good opportunity to reconfirm our common support for strengthening the Union, consolidating the relationships and the Strategic Partnership between Romania and Israel in a manner that will strengthen unity, solidarity and cohesion at European level,” said Dancila.
On the other hand, Dancila also referred to Romania’s bilateral relations with Greece, stating that it is necessary to strengthen the upward trend within trade exchanges.
“Greece is a key partner for Romania in the region, we want to further boost our dialogue and cooperation on a bilateral, regional and European level. Today’s talks with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras highlighted that we have converging views on major topics of the European agenda and from the perspective of regional challenges. From the perspective of bilateral economic relations, we have expressed interest in strengthening the upward trend in trade and stressed that the amplification and diversification of sectoral cooperation remain key issues of the bilateral agenda, having as catalyst factors economic cooperation actions, but also investment projects,” said Dancila.
At the same time, she showed that she transmitted to her Greek counterpart the appreciation “for the constant support given by the Greek authorities to the Romanian community in Greece, which has over 55,000 members”, stating that the Romanian associative environment in this country is extremely dynamic.