"There is no better place than the European Union. Also, when Greece was in crisis, who stood beside it - the European Union. If there is a problem, who will help us the most - NATO and the EU." This was stated by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov in his speech in front of the participants at the Third Summit in Thessaloniki that is dedicated to the European perspective, connectivity, industrial development, and cooperation with the Western Balkans.
"Our connectivity is also geostrategic in every sphere. And the sooner we see Macedonia in the EU and NATO, the better for Bulgaria and Greece," added Borissov. He pointed out that some things are difficult to accept, especially given the decades of accumulated historical conflicts, but this is no good for the business. "Wouldn't it be good to have not only Sofia-Skopje and Sofia-Thessaloniki connections, but also Thessaloniki-Skopje-Tirana-Belgrade? So the business and anyone else can choose the transport corridors of most convenience," said Prime Minister Borissov.
In his address to the leaders of the Balkan countries, he rhetorically asked what could be better than Greece having access to Danube, and thus being able to contribute to the development of the Danube, Romanian, Black Sea strategy. "For you to have a quay in Burgas and for Bulgaria and North, respectively - in Thessaloniki and Alexandroupolis," Prime Minister Borissov told his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister underlined that now is the time to stop referring to the Western Balkans, because Greece, Romania and Bulgaria, which are already in the EU, can not be separated from the region in key areas. At the Thessaloniki forum Borissov shared the idea of Alexandroupolis to be connected by highway as well as to modernize the railway to Bourgas and reminded of important highlights from the quadrilateral Summit in Varna, where a guest of the Bulgarian Prime Minister was his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.
In his speech, Prime Minister Borissov also focused on regionally important infrastructure sections and on gas connectivity. "Currently nothing can prevent us from continuing to develop our trade relations, to increase the trade volume, as well as the connectivity that I am talking about," Borissov said in conclusion.
The third Thessaloniki summit, hosted by the Prime Minister of our South neighbour Alexis Tsipras, was also attended by the Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Romania's Deputy Prime Minister Ana Birchall, and ministers from the region.