Prime Minister Boyko Borissov participated in a discussion on the long-term development of the Western Balkans, which took place within the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. It also included the leaders of the countries of the Western Balkans, Croatia, as well as the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn.
During the discussion, the Bulgarian Prime Minister stressed the need for connectivity in the region - infrastructure, transport, digital, energy, and social connectivity. “This is a key factor for stimulating investment and improving relations with the Member States,” Borissov said. He also pointed out that the EU expects the Western Balkan countries to make tangible progress in meeting the membership criteria. “All sides now completely agree that the two processes need to go in parallel - building infrastructure and, at the same time, those who have made progress should close accession chapters. This will show Europe’s strong committed to the Western Balkans,” the Prime Minister said. Borissov also added that he considers the summit planned during the Bulgarian Presidency as a suitable forum for Member States to express their views.
The Prime Minister once again pointed out that open bilateral issues must be resolved before accession of the countries to the EU and welcomed the efforts made in this direction. Borissov mentioned as an example for the improving relations between the countries in the region the Agreement on Friendship, Good Neighborly Relations and Cooperation between Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, signed in August 2017. “The parliaments of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia ratified the Treaty, which was defined by the international community as an excellent example of building a new type of relationship in the Balkans. The two countries have shown that there is a real willingness to develop relations on a pragmatic basis, in the spirit of good neighborliness and trust,” Boyko Borissov said.