Fresh News

Tuesday, 03 October

Meeting of the Romania –Bulgaria High - level Cooperation Council (Joint meeting of the two Governments)

Press release

 

The interconnection projects and coordination of European objectives - priorities of the Romanian and Bulgarian Governments

 

The Romanian and Bulgarian Governments will coordinate their priorities in anticipation of their mandates at the helm of the Council of the European Union and will enhance cooperation in the common areas of interest, especially economic, energy, transport, as agreed at the Fourth Meeting of the Romania -Bulgaria High- Level Cooperation Council (Joint Meeting of the two Governments).

"It is very important that Romania and Bulgaria advocate together at the level of the European Union, preserving the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy(...). The Common European Security Policy is essential too as our two countries are on the eastern border of both EU and NATO, "stated Prime Minister Mihai Tudose at the end of the joint meeting of the two governments.

The Romanian Prime Minister outlined that  talks focused on the interconnection projects in the economic, energy and transport fields: "The purpose of the two countries is not to build a bridge, but the bridge, the railroad or the highway be the means whereby our economies to become competitive in the European Union ".

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov highlighted the opportunity of strengthening the connectivity between the two countries for the benefit of citizens and economic operators.

The Romanian and Bulgarian Governments established a permanent working mechanism that includes regular meetings between prime ministers, ministers and ministries’ experts.

Also, in the context of the joint meeting, a series of bilateral documents concerning sectoral cooperation were signed.

Thus, the Romanian and Bulgarian Ministers of Home Affairs, Carmen Daniela Dan and Valentin Radev respectively, signed a Protocol between the two institutions for the implementation of the Agreement between the Government of Romania and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria on readmission of their own citizens and foreigners.

 

The document establishes border crossing points for the readmission and transit of persons subject to the agreement.

Thus, for the Romanian side, the border crossing points established according to the Protocol are those from Calafat, Bechet, Turnu Magurele, Zimnicea, Giurgiu, Oltenita, Calarasi, Ostrov, Negru Voda, Vama Veche and Henri Coanda International Airport.

For the Bulgarian side, the border points for readmission are those from Vidin, Oryahovo, Nikopol, Svishtov, Ruse, Tutrakan, Silistra, Kardam, Durankulak and Sofia Airport.

The document stipulates that any eventual change made to the list of border crossing points will be notified through diplomatic channels.

The authorities in charge of implementing the agreement will be the Ministries of Internal Affairs of the two countries, the central and local powers being established.

The protocol also details the readmission procedure, the necessary supporting documents, presumptions on entry into the territory and deadlines for processing formal requests and notifications. The document sets out other details referring to the escort procedure, costs, working language in conducting readmission procedures, and settling eventual disputes.

Another document agreed in Varna was the joint statement of the Ministry of Labor and Social Justice in Romania and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies in Bulgaria, signed by Ministers Lia Olguta Vasilescu and Biser Petrov.

The two Ministries agreed to enhance cooperation through exchange of information and expertise on policies and practices in the field, and to enhance transnational cooperation through the European Investment and Structural Funds (ESF) in the following areas:

Youth Employment and Labor Mobility Package;

Gender Equality and Combating Domestic Violence;

Child protection;

Safety and health at Work;

Social inclusion of the Roma minority;

Social security models;

Measures and good practices in the field of social inclusion;

Combating undeclared work (by conducting joint inspections of competent labor inspection bodies);

Policies and programmes in the field of employment and exchange of best practices between competent bodies in the field of employment.

Also, Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship of Romania Ilan Laufer, and Bulgarian Economy Minister Emil Karanikolov signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Invest Bulgaria Agency and the Ministry of Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship.

The document will be the basis for developing close trade relations and increasing the volume of bilateral investment.

The Protocol will allow the exchange of information - on methods of attracting investments, public statistical data, analysis reports - mutual information support in the implementation of different types of activities in Bulgaria and Romania that promote the attraction of mutual investments, collaboration for the development of a sustainable economy and cooperation in the case of projects and programmes connected to the public-private partnership.

An Agreement on the granting of a place of refuge to accommodate ships requiring assistance was concluded between the Romanian Naval Authority and the Bulgarian Maritime Administration. According to this document, the two institutions will cooperate when providing a place of refuge to ships requiring assistance to avoid unnecessary risks to the ship and the environment after the national choices have been taken into account and concluded that this is the solution better for ship safety.

The agreement was signed by Alexandru Mezei, director general of the Romanian Naval Authority, and Zhivko Petrov, executive director of the Bulgarian Maritime Administration.

Another document, initialed today, is the Contract on the Mutual Emergency Supply of Non-Country Energy for Securing the System Services between the Romanian and Bulgarian Energy Systems between Transelectrica S.A. and Elektroenergien Sistemen Operator (ESO EAS). Thus, the two parties agreed on the conditions in which they will grant assistance in real time, in case of power emergency, using the available reserves, without jeopardizing their national power grid. The document was signed by Corina Popescu, general director of Transelectrica, on behalf of the Romanian side, and Ivan Yotov, executive director of ESO EAS, on behalf of the Bulgarian side.

 

***

Prime Minister Mihai Tudose: Romania and Bulgaria are stability and security oases of the citizen

Mihai Tudose: Thank you, Prime Minister. What Prime Minister Borisov stated, confirms that we are in an important stage. There are things that we have agreed upon today.  The position of Bulgaria and Romania in the European Union is very important, taking into account the fact that the two countries hold, at a six- month interval, the presidency of the Council, and we will have to fight together to preserve the cohesion policy and the agrarian policy, not minimizing the common European security policies, given the fact that we are at the Eastern border of both the EU and the Washington Treaty, NATO member countries. This aspect is very important too.

We have talked a lot about interconnections, infrastructure, but not as an end in itself- the purpose of the two countries is not to build a bridge, but for the bridge, the railroad or the highway to be the means whereby our economies become competitive in the European Union, in order to provide both investment and business opportunities for those who already invested in Bulgaria and Romania and, obviously, better living standards for the citizens of our countries.

We want and we agreed that such kind of meeting arousing much interest should take place like a normal not a special event, we as Prime Ministers should meet monthly– we are nevertheless at less than one –hour flight distance ones from the others. The interministerial comittees that we set up today and the Ministers should be closely connected, we should work pragmatically, based on measures implementation schedule, and not to waste other 20 years in which we only looked at other area of Europe, and we unfortunately overlooked or omitted to look at ourselves too, at our neighbors and to make plans together for the two countries.

Thank you very much for your hospitality and I may announce already that we set the next meeting between Prime Ministers to be held next month, in Romania. Thank you!

(...)

Reporter: Good afternoon. I would have a question for both Prime Ministers. Considering the European context and the European Commission’s stand on Romania’s accession and Romania and Bulgaria’s entry into the Schengen area, but at the same time, the problems here, in the Black Sea, with the increasing number of migrants, I would like to ask you if you addressed this aspect, and if you are going to force in any way the vote in the European Council, so that our countries to be in Schengen area in the next period, and if you have a common approach in this respect. Thank you.

Mihai Tudose: Regarding entry into the Schengen area, Bulgaria and Romania are somehow linked together, and it's not a bad thing, but I'm going to joke somehow: hundreds, thousands at maximum, entered the EU through Bulgaria and Romania but now, there are one and a half million immigrants in the European Union who did not transit our country. I do not know whether Romania or Bulgaria have a border security issue. I would say, on the contrary. Romania and Bulgaria offer the European Union one of the most secure border police forces, human trafficking police. Based on figures, I repeat up to thousands of people, through Bulgaria and Romania, and figures went beyond a million people that penetrated the EU borders. A common policy treaty was signed today and cooperation in terms of law enforcement units is exemplary. And, yes, I am convinced that in one year’s time at the latest, Romania and Bulgaria will be in Schengen.

/.../

Mihai Tudose: Prioritization is very important, especially when we consider that all are in the area of ​​strategic importance for the two countries. You mentioned workforce, you mentioned energy. Regarding the common policy on migration and the common policy on the status of our citizens in the European Union, especially post-Brexit, we have a common position, and the two ministers set themselves up and will work together with the Foreign Ministries of the two countries. The act signed today by Energy Ministers, through which each of the two countries can be a safety net for the other, if necessary, in case of an energy collapse in one of the countries, is a very important act, and says very much about how we see collaboration in this area. Bulgaria, Romania, along with Greece, with Serbia, can become a center of stability, energy security for all of this area of ​​Europe. It is only up to us to prove that we are smart enough to take this opportunity, I repeat, not only for the two countries, but an opportunity that makes us very important and players for the rest of Europe as well.

/.../

 

 

Mihai Tudose: Something very important – we have not discussed it at all, at the bilateral meeting – but, it is obvious that both Bulgaria and Romania are two stability and security oases of the ordinary citizen, very tolerant from the religious point of view too, and from the point of view of other possible and imaginable minorities, which is a new element of attractiveness to do business in these areas, to come here with your family, in spaces implementing these businesses. I repeat, they are two stability and security oases of the citizen, which became a very rare thing to find across the globe, not only in Western countries. And it is a shame that neither Bulgaria nor Romania has yet capitalized on this opportunity that the two countries can offer. I thank you very much for hosting us and we hope that at the next meeting, in one year-time, we will have a review, Mr. Minister and not a program.

/.../

 

***

 

Press release

 

 

The fourth meeting of the Romania-Bulgaria High-Level Cooperation Council (joint meeting of the two Governments) takes place today, in Varna, and will highlight the continuation of the multi-level, consolidated co-operation between the two neighboring countries, EU partners and NATO allies.

The meeting agenda will include topics from areas of mutual interest such as: economic cooperation, transport and energy infrastructure, labor, domestic affairs, regional development and cross-border cooperation.

The talks will also address the European issues and the coordination prospects in the preparedness of Romania and Bulgaria’s first mandates at the helm of the Council of the EU, especially since the two countries share a number of joint objectives and positions on the future of the European Union.

The two Executives will adopt a Joint Statement on the main areas of bilateral, regional and European, Euro-Atlantic and international cooperation.

A series of bilateral sectoral documents will also be signed at this meeting.

In the context of this event, Prime Minister Mihai Tudose will have a tête-à-tête with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the Romanian officials will have a series of bilateral meetings with Bulgarian counterparts.

Also Tuesday, at 10:00 am, Prime Minister Mihai Tudose and Interior Minister Carmen Dan, along with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Bulgarian Interior Minister Valentin Radev will attend the opening ceremony of a new border crossing point at Lipnita-Kainargea.

 Prime Minister Mihai Tudose will also attend in Varna the high-level quadrilateral meeting between Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece.

 

The Romanian delegation will also include Sevil Shhaideh, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds, Ion-Marcel Ciolacu, Vice Prime Minister, Carmen Dan, Minister of Internal Affairs, Teodor Melescanu, Foreign Affairs Minister, Victor Negrescu, Minister for European Affairs, Toma Petcu, Minister of Energy, George Şimon, Minister of Economy, Ilan Laufer, Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, Alexandru Cuc, Transport Minister, Lucian Şova, Minister of Communications and Information Society, Lia Olguţa Vasilescu, Labor and Social Justice Minister, and Mihai Busuioc, Secretary - General of the Government.

 

More information:

The Romanian Government and the Bulgarian Government had bilateral meetings in 2011, 2014 and 2015 too, in Bucharest, Ruse and Craiova.

From an economic angle , geographical proximity and EU membership are just two of the many elements that stimulate economic cooperation between the two states. Romania is  Bulgaria’s third largest trading partner in the EU(after Germany and Italy). In 2016, Romania's total trade volume with Bulgaria reached 3.9 billion euros, with 7.26 percent more compared to 2015. In the first 6 months of 2017, the volume of bilateral trade amounted to EUR 2073, 01 million (up 10.51% compared to the same period last year).

According to data provided by the Romanian Trade Register, on  August 31, 2017, there were 2327 commercial companies with full or partial Bulgarian capital and a subscribed social capital of EUR 154.39 million.



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