BTA News

BTA Opens Cross-Border Conference in Skopje and Kyustendil

Valchev pointed out that the “B” in BTA stand not only for Bulgaria but also for the Balkans. “Balkan news have been present in BTA since its first day – of the six news pieces published on February 16, 1898, two were from Constantinople and two from Athens. There has been an independent department for the Balkan countries at the agency since 1951, which in 2021 was transformed into a directorate”, Valchev informed. He added that since 1973, BTA has been announcing the Balkan Athlete of the Year, a common project with the sports editorial offices of all Balkan news agencies, and that in 2022 BTA became the headquarters of the Association of Balkan News Agencies – Southeast Europe (ABNA – SE).

He emphasised that BTA already has contracts for daily exchange of news with the national news agencies of all Balkan countries except one, with which BTA hopes to conclude such a contract soon. Regarding the contract with the Media Information Agency of the Republic of North Macedonia (MIA), Valchev said that the two agencies should think about how to develop the cooperation. He said that BTA aims to expand its current network of permanent offices in the Balkans with the goal to have BTA correspondents in every country in the region in order to hold meetings and conferences such as the one in Skopje on Tuesday. He also said that in the last three years, BTA has covered all significant events in the Balkans with special envoys and has shared Balkan news with the rest of the world through partner agencies and through the European Newsroom – a platform for cooperation between European news agencies, in which BTA participates since its creation in 2022 together with MIA.

“This consistent dissemination by BTA of information from the Balkans is a continuation of the policy of Bulgaria, which dedicated its first presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018 to EU enlargement in the Western Balkans, as well as to the common European policy for promoting the development of regional cooperation through targeted funding with cross-border cohesion funds”, said Valchev. He added that the Skopje conference aims to discuss the efforts needed to ensure greater connectivity through these funds, as the Balkans still have a lot to do in terms of transport connectivity – particularly between Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia, where there are still no railway links and no motorways.