Sofia and Skopje in joint call to EU on infrastructure projects

Sofia and Skopje in joint call to EU on infrastructure projects


By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of the Sofia Globe

Bulgaria and FYR Macedonia have sent a joint letter to European commissioners requesting financial support for joint infrastructure projects.

The letter was sent by Kristian Vigenin, foreign minister in Sofia, and Nikola Poposki, his counterpart in Skopje, to European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Füle and the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, according to a foreign ministry statement on February 19 2014.

According to Vigenin and Poposki, priority should be given to current projects for the development of automobile and railrway infrastructure.

Special attention should be given to the execution of Pan-European corridor №8, connecting the Bulgarian Black Sea coast with Albania through territory of FYR Macedonia.

Bulgaria and FYR Macedonia have been intensifying their efforts aimed to promote good-neighbourly relations and cooperation, including throughout projects and initiatives that can have a practical value, not only for both countries, but for the region as a whole, the letter said.

Both countries highly appreciate the possibilities provided by the European Commission for enhancing the partnership through the territorial cooperation programmes which are dedicated to stronger and sustainable economic and social development of the regions and thus are unlocking their potential, says the letter.

The foreign ministers reconfirmed the readiness of Bulgaria and FYR Macedonia to enhance contacts between the relevant authorities with a view to ensure better co-ordination and implementation of joint projects in areas such as infrastructure, economy and improving the overall interconnectivity in the region as a whole.

“We believe that a huge importance should be given to ongoing projects that promote road and railway traffic, with a special focus on completing of Corridor VIII (East-West),” the letter said, emphasizing that allowing for greater financial support for the completion of these projects would, naturally, be of critical importance.