Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mariya Gabriel, who met with the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luminita-Teodora Odobescu, here on Monday said that Bulgaria and Romania’s accession to Schengen is a significant success that will contribute to improving the sustainability and positive development of the region and as well as Europe in general. Odobescu said that the two sides agreed to coordinate their future actions to achieve the abolition of checks at internal European borders, Odobescu said after the meeting with Gabriel.
Odobescu is visiting Bulgaria at Gabriel’s invitation. The two top diplomats held a bilateral meeting on topical issues of bilateral and international interest, followed by plenary talks between the two delegations.
Gabriel said that the two states’ accession is the result of good bilateral cooperation. She added that joint efforts will continue throughout 2024, so that our countries can achieve the abolition of checks at land borders in the context of their Schengen membership. Bulgaria and Romania have proven that with well-coordinated efforts they can achieve significant goals, Gabriel stressed.
The Bulgarian Foreign Minister noted that Odobescu’s visit here is the first official visit of a Romanian foreign minister in more than ten years. She pointed out that Romania is a strategic partner of Bulgaria.
Gabriel pointed out that March marks the one-year anniversary of the signing of the declaration on the strategic partnership between the two countries. Our commitment is to work together for connectivity – in science, education, energy, in technology and innovation, to ensure a more sustainable development of Southeast Europe, Gabriel said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the meeting placed emphasis on the construction of the North-South European transport corridor, on connecting transport infrastructure and diversifying energy sources. Over the past months, we have united and intensified our efforts to implement important infrastructure projects such as the construction of a new bridge over the Danube, Gabriel said.
Gabriel expressed willingness to join forces to accelerate the process of having Bulgaria and Romania join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Gabriel emphasized the two countries’ shared responsibility for maintaining peace and security in the Black Sea region. An example of our successful security cooperation was the establishment of a Mine Counter-measures Task Group Black Sea between the governments of Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkiye, Gabriel said.
The Bulgarian Foreign Minister used three words to describe Monday’s meeting with her Romanian counterpart as well as the relations between Bulgaria and Romania: cooperation, connectivity and security. She stated that these three are what Bulgaria and Romania offer to the EU and NATO, as well as to their own citizens.