I believe that the European perspective for the Western Balkans is now closer than ever. Bulgaria has made a huge effort in respect to this priority - the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good Neighborly Relations with the Republic of Macedonia, the many meetings we organized with the leaders of the six countries, the consensus between Athens and Skopje on the name of the state, the last EU Council meeting that set the horizon for starting pre-accession talks with the Republic of Macedonia and Albania. This was stated by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov during the plenary session of the Berlin Process initiative in London. He thanked British Prime Minister Theresa May for the invitation and added that this is a recognition of Bulgaria's work in the region.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister noted that connectivity and investment in the region, besides being factors for improving the standard of living of the people in the Balkans, should also be seen as instruments in support of security and stability in the region. "These are key elements of cohesion that create conditions for economic growth and good neighborly relations," added Borissov. The Prime Minister provided an overview of the advantages of the transport corridors and underlined that their funding and implementation will bring new investments and employment opportunities.
"Close cooperation between the EU and the Western Balkans on security and migration is a must. European security cannot be seen as a separate issues," said Prime Minister Borissov within the context of the challenges in the sector. He highlighted that during its Presidency Bulgaria included representatives of the countries from the region in the discussions and called for the dialogue with them to continue both on the political and expert levels. "When we work together to tackle illegal migration, organized crime, terrorism and violent extremism, we can attain better results. The exchange of information and views, as well as capacity building are of key importance," stated Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.