The Bucharest Declaration

The Bucharest Declaration

The Prime Ministers of Romania, H.E. Ms. Viorica Dăncilă, the Republic of Bulgaria, H.E. Mr. Boyko Borisov, the Hellenic Republic, H.E. Mr. Alexis Tsipras, together with the President of the Republic of Serbia, H.E. Mr. Aleksandar Vučić,

Expressing satisfaction for the high-level political dialogue and overall cooperation between the four states,

Recognizing the importance of continuing a regular dialogue between our states, representing a functional framework for regional cooperation that contributes to safeguarding a climate of trust and partnership in our region,

Sharing the view that the friendly and good-neighbourly relations among the four states, based on common European values and principles, are in the interest of our peoples and the security and stability of the entire region of South East Europe,

Acknowledging the importance of regional cooperation, reconciliation and good-neighborly relations and welcoming the remarkable progress achieved by the Republic of Bulgaria and by the Hellenic Republic in further strengthening their bilateral ties through a determined and forward-looking perspective for their relations  with the Republic of North Macedonia,

Willing to jointly develop and strengthen our cooperation in order to promote the sustainable development, the economic prosperity and social progress of our countries,

Recalling EU’s historic commitment through the Thessaloniki Declaration stressing that “the future of the Balkans is within the European Union”, as well as the Sofia Declaration, stating that “the EU is determined to strengthen and intensify its engagement at all levels to support the region’s political, economic and social transformation”,

Reaffirming that Romania, the Republic of Bulgaria and the Hellenic Republic strongly and actively support Serbia’s EU path and its efforts to fulfil the accession criteria,

Declare on this important occasion that:

We agree that the enlargement policy, a prominent priority of the current Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, as well as the former Bulgarian and Greek Presidencies remains an opportunity to demonstrate, once again, the transformative power of the EU, at a time when the Union is confronted with major challenges.

We share the view that as far as the the EU Enlargement process is concerned progress along the European path is an objective and merit-based process which depends on the concrete results achieved by each individual country, with the rule of law, justice and fundamental rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities and property rights, being an utmost priority.

We decide that, one year after the publication of the 2018 EU Enlargement Package that reiterated the EU’s commitment for a credible enlargement perspective and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans, our joint efforts will aim at turning 2019 into a year of feasible results, in line with the commitments assumed and in accordance with the own merits principle.

We agree that a strong, united and cohesive Europe is in the interest of both current and future Member States. In the ongoing debate on the future of the Union, we support a constructive, forward-looking perspective and a continued commitment to the enlargement process.

We consider that the future of Europe and the objective of strengthening EU’s role as a global actor are closely linked to EU’s ability to project stability and prosperity in its immediate neighborhood.

We welcome the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighbourliness, and Cooperation between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, which provides a good basis for strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries.

We congratulate the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of North Macedonia for the historic resolution of the name dispute through the adoption of the Prespa Agreement, an example of reconciliation for the region and of solving the problems in a European spirit.

Romania, the Republic of Bulgaria and the Hellenic Republic welcome the efforts and progress of the Serbian government in the EU accession process and encourage Serbia to continue the pace of reforms and to ensure their sustainability and irreversibility. The three EU Member States will continue to share with Serbia their own experience with regard to the accession process,  and transfer know-how for a successful negotiation process.

We attach great importance to continuing the development of cross-border and wider regional cooperation between our four states, with the objective of strengthening the territorial cohesion of cross-border regions, their competitiveness and their sustainability through projects of mutual benefit.

We reaffirm our support for regional projects of common interest, especially in the fields of transport, energy, IT&C, as well as sports and youth, in order to promote the development and the overall connectivity of the region.

We will further advance our work toward the development of transport links between our states and the extension of the TEN-T network in South East Europe, and with a particular focus on the West–East and North–South transport corridors.

We emphasize the importance of a macro-regional approach to stimulate economic growth, and job creation including in the framework of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, the Three Seas Initiative and of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region. In this respect, the current Romanian Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) and of the Council of the EU, as well as the Bulgarian Chairmanship-in-Office of BSEC together with Greece and Serbia as members of the EUSAIR, can create opportunities for connecting the respective regions, by exploring synergies between relevant priority areas and advancing with projects inspired by the blue-economy, also by benefiting from the experience gained in the EUSAIR and its four pillars, and by commonly supporting the inclusion of macro-regional priorities in the relevant Regulations of the next Multiannual Financial Framework.

We strongly believe that energy security should be further strengthened, at both European and regional level, as a major priority for our states and for the EU. We attach great importance to making gas interconnectors between our states, including the Vertical Corridor, Greece-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector, Bulgaria-Romania Gas Interconnector, Bulgaria-Serbia Gas Interconnector and Romania-Serbia Gas Interconnector fully operational, in order for them to become key parts of the overall European energy security infrastructure and contribute to the implementation of the Energy Union.

We will continue our joint efforts for the diversification of energy sources, routes and suppliers towards the timely development of commonly agreed priority gas and electricity infrastructure projects within the Central and South-Eastern Europe Connectivity (CESEC) and Energy Community framework.

We have agreed to analyze the modalities for establishing a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) with a view to promoting a cooperation in Southeast Europe.

We agree to continue the work to elaborate our joint bid for future sport events, by establishing Organizing Committees and advancing technical cooperation in this format.

We entrust the relevant institutions of our respective states to prepare proposals aimed at expanding the dialogue at the sectorial level in all fields of common interest, as the case may be. In this respect, Working Groups will be established and tasked to further advance our practical cooperation./ibna