Rumen Radev and Nicos Anastasiades: The EU Budget Should Reflect the Ambition for a United and Active EuropeDiplomacy | February 27, 2020, Thursday // 08:20| views
Energy diversification in Southeastern Europe and Bulgaria’s joining the joint projects of Israel, Cyprus and Greece for the future supplies of natural gas from the ?ast Mediterranean sea to Europe were discussed by President Rumen Radev and his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades at a meeting held at 2 Dondukov street. The Cypriot Head of State is on an official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of the Bulgarian President.
In Rumen Radev’s words, Bulgaria is a natural continuation of the gas-transit infrastructure from the Mediterranean to Eastern Europe. Bulgaria supports the agreement between Israel, Cyprus and Greece for the construction of the EastMed pipeline, which is of great importance for the energy diversification of the region and of Europe.
The EU Multiannual financial framework should reflect the ambition for a united and active Europe. An efficient cohesion and agriculture policy is necessary to achieve a real economic and social cohesion of the EU member states. This was the common stance expressed by the Presidents of Bulgaria and Cyprus. In Rumen Radev’s and Nicos Anastasiades’ opinion, the EU is strong only when it defends underpinning values such as solidarity and unity. Therefore the next multiannual financial framework should find long-term and long-lasting solutions of the challenges the Union is facing. “The economic and social cohesion of the EU member states is an obligatory condition for preserving the unity in Europe,” Rumen Radev emphasized at the meeting.
The prospects for a follow-up deepening of the economic and trade partnership between Bulgaria and Cyprus were among the topics the meeting of the two presidents focused on. The two Presidents were adamant that although Cyprus is among the big investors in the Bulgarian economy with investments worth about 2 billion euros, bilateral trade of 200 million euros per year is below the capacity of the business. The industries of information, financial and innovative technologies, science, start-ups, tourism, defence industry were highlighted as sectors having a potential for the expansion of partnership. “Cyprus is among the leading investors in Bulgaria. However, together we can be more efficient and establishing joint enterprises is an excellent prerequisite for operating on third markets,” Head of State Rumen Radev said. Both Presidents were unanimous that the Bulgarian-Cypriot business forum, which will be held tomorrow in Sofia, will give a new impetus to the contacts between the business circles and the trade between the two countries, the presidential press office reported.
The potential cooperation of Cyprus within the Three Seas regional initiative for promoting the transport, energy and digital connectivity in the region through joint projects was also discussed at the meeting.
The two Heads of State reaffirmed their support for the Western Balkans’ European prospects, which is of key importance for the stability and security not only in Southeastern Europe, but also for the EU.
The two shared the stance that a more efficient EU migration policy is needed and also offering support for the countries located along the external EU borders.
Presidents Rumen Radev and Nicos Anastasiades also noted that deepening the education, scientific and cultural cooperation between Bulgaria and Cyprus also strengthens the bilateral ties. About 300 Cypriot students study in Bulgaria and their number may increase, the Bulgarian Head of State said. Rumen Radev voiced gratitude for the created conditions for the successful integration and guaranteeing the labor rights of the 25-thousand Bulgarian community in Cyprus, which manages to preserve its culture. The number of schools in Cyprus where Bulgarian language is studied is nine, Nicos Anastasiades said. He noted that different events for the Bulgarian community and for the Cypriot citizens that have taken their university degree in Bulgaria have been planned with regard to the 60th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The development of the Cyprus Question was discussed at the meeting of the two Presidents and the common stance was voiced for seeking a sustainable solution in compliance with international law and the UN Security Council resolution.
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