Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic signed a joint statement on Friday that which was adopted at a meeting of the four-way co-operation format on Friday at Snagov Palace, Romania.
According to the document released by the Romanian Government, the four countries say they agree that the EU’s enlargement policy, a prominent priority of the current Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, as well as the former Bulgarian and Greek Presidencies remains an opportunity to demonstrate, once again, the transformative power of the EU, at a time when the Union is confronted with major challenges.
“We share the view that as far as the EU Enlargement process is concerned progress along the European path is an objective and merit-based process which depends on the concrete results achieved by each individual country, with the rule of law, justice and fundamental rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities and property rights, being an utmost priority. We decide that, one year after the publication of the 2018 EU Enlargement Package that reiterated the EU’s commitment for a credible enlargement perspective and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans, our joint efforts will aim at turning 2019 into a year of feasible results, in line with the commitments assumed and in accordance with the own merits principle. We agree that a strong, united and cohesive Europe is in the interest of both current and future Member States. In the ongoing debate on the future of the Union, we support a constructive, forward-looking perspective and a continued commitment to the enlargement process.”
The future of Europe and the objective of strengthening EU’s role as a global actor are closely linked to EU’s ability to project stability and prosperity in its immediate neighbourhood.
“We welcome the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighbourliness, and Cooperation between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, which provides a good basis for strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries. We congratulate the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of North Macedonia for the historic resolution of the name dispute through the adoption of the Prespa Agreement, an example of reconciliation for the region and of solving the problems in a European spirit.
“Romania, the Republic of Bulgaria and the Hellenic Republic welcome the efforts and progress of the Serbian government in the EU accession process and encourage Serbia to continue the pace of reforms and to ensure their sustainability and irreversibility. The three EU Member States will continue to share with Serbia their own experience with regard to the accession process, and transfer know-how for a successful negotiation process. We attach great importance to continuing the development of cross-border and wider regional cooperation between our four states, with the objective of strengthening the territorial cohesion of cross-border regions, their competitiveness and their sustainability through projects of mutual benefit,” the document points out.
The four dignitaries reaffirm their support for regional projects of common interest, especially in the fields of transport, energy, IT&C, as well as sports and youth, in order to promote the development and the overall connectivity of the region.
“We emphasize the importance of a macro-regional approach to stimulate economic growth, and job creation including in the framework of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, the Three Seas Initiative and of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region. (…)We strongly believe that energy security should be further strengthened, at both European and regional level, as a major priority for our states and for the EU. We attach great importance to making gas interconnectors between our states, including the Vertical Corridor, Greece-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector, Bulgaria-Romania Gas Interconnector, Bulgaria-Serbia Gas Interconnector and Romania-Serbia Gas Interconnector fully operational, in order for them to become key parts of the overall European energy security infrastructure and contribute to the implementation of the Energy Union. (…)We agree to continue the work to elaborate our joint bid for future sport events, by establishing Organizing Committees and advancing technical cooperation in this format.”