Bulgarian Foreign Minister: The Western Balkans' EU-integration is an Irreversible ProcessEU | February 7, 2019, Thursday // 13:46| views
"I am happy that after the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European integration process for the Western Balkans is already irreversible," Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said during a meeting with Roberto Antoniene, CEO of the Central European Initiative of the MFA.
The Western Balkans are already participating in high-level and high-level EU meetings, working groups and important debates such as the one on Europe's future, Zaharieva added.
Antonio and his delegation visited Sofia as part of a tour of CEI member countries. "Thanks for giving us the opportunity to explain what we can achieve together," the guest said. He also thanked for the efforts of the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU, which focused on the European perspective of the Western Balkans.
Minister Zaharieva stressed that Bulgarian support does not stop here, and our country will not spare efforts to continue the European integration of the region.
Another focus of our common efforts should be the building of administrative capacity, Minister Zaharieva added. Only in this way will these countries be able to make optimal use of European funds. The Deputy Prime Minister has outlined the importance of such initiatives as CEIs to channel funds and efforts to youth, education and science in these countries.
Let the various regional initiatives work in synergy, complementing them, Minister Zaharieva said. She has pointed out that various forums such as the South East Europe Cooperation Process, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and others complement each other and can cooperate for better results in our broad region.
Established in 1989, CEI is the oldest regional forum in Central, Eastern and Southeast Europe. Bulgaria has been a full member since 1996. Today, the initiative covers 17 countries, including EU Member States, Eastern Partnership countries and the Western Balkans.