Belgrade.- (GreekNewsOnline, BNR, ANA-MPA)
The leaders of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia in Belgrade agreed at the quadrilateral summit that took place in Belgrade, to continue to work together under the current energy and infrastructure projects.
Bulgaria’s Premier Boyko Borissov speaking after the summit placed the emphasis on the active cooperation with Greece towards the construction of the Sofia-Thessaloniki motorway and the connection with the gas terminal in Alexandroupolis.
Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić thanked for the efforts during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which was held in the first half of 2018, in support of the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries.
Romania’s Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă confirmed that the EU enlargement with the Western Balkans will be a priority of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union which begins next year.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras commented that the new summit in this format proves that the Balkans can contribute to the European agenda and is not a second-class region.
The leaders of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia decided to meet once every three months to report on the progress under common projects related to construction of motorways, high-speed railway lines, gas interconnections, etc. Within the frameworks of the summit the Ministers of Sport of Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Romania decided to establish a commission that will prepare their common candidature to host the World Football Cup in 2030.
They also negotiated to prepare a common candidature to host the European Football Championship in 2028 and 2032. Greece will join the common candidature of Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania to host the European Volleyball Championship in 2021, as it became clear during the meeting of the sports ministers of the four countries.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that a 16-member committee will be formed in which will participate four representatives from each country while the candidacy will be tabled until December 2021.
“We have formed a very good team that has learned to combine, play well and through the good cooperation, particularly in the sectors of infrastructures and energy, can score very soon” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said after the conclusion of Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania Quadrilateral Summit in Belgrade on Saturday.
“EU owes to give a positive vision and speak with confidence for the Western Balkans” he said and expressed the hope EU Romanian presidency to proceed with the European asylum mechanism procedure and with the sharing of responsibility with the first reception countries.”
The Quadrilateral cooperation has promoted the region of the Balkans a region that can offer to Europe and not as a second class region that Europe will address with sympathy attempting to impose its own conditions. The Balkans must become again the centre of peace, cooperation, and co-growth and this passes only through the widening of EU, the Greek prime minister said.
Once again we underlined the importance of Serbia’s accession to EU for the region, said Tsipras adding that “We are before serious challenges. We want to send a message of optimism and in parallel the message that all the countries of the peninsula should follow the example we are giving today for cooperation and base their vision for their integration in EU on the meeting of their obligations and on the need to comply with the European acquis. The respect of the international law, the respect for the minorities’ rights and the safeguarding of the rule of law are inviolable conditions for their accession in EU” Tsipras said.
The Prime Minister expressed his belief that EU Romanian presidency’s priority should be the review of the common European asylum system for which, unfortunately, the Austrian presidency did not take a single step forward”, adding that the first reception countries should share the burden with the other EU member states referring to the migration issue.
“We (EU) can’t continue addressing the values and principles as the principle of solidarity as principles a la carte” he underlined.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras referred to the projects underway in the Balkans in the sectors of transport, energy and infrastructures. He referred to the railway link Thessaloniki, Kavala, Alexandroupolis, Burgas, Varna, Ruse and the rail link Thessaloniki, Skopje, Belgrade and Budapest that as he said is progressing fast after the signing of the Prespes Agreement. He also referred to the natural gas pipeline IGB and to the upgrading of northern Greece’s ports.
“I want to point out the great importance of Thessaloniki port, a city that aims to have the biggest port of all the Balkans” he said.
Concluding he spoke of the four countries’ candidacy for the organisation of the World Cup in 2030 or the EURO 2028.
“It is an initiative with special symbolism. In the last years there were conflicts and confrontations in the Balkans, now we are giving the symbolism of cooperation. We want the Balkans to be a positive model in Europe and in the whole world”, Tsipras said.