Yunanistan,Bulgaristan ve Romanya Dışişleri Bakanları Ortak Deklarasyonu (english)
NINTH TRILATERAL MINISTERIAL MEETING OF GREECE, BULGARIA AND ROMANIA- JOINT STATEMENT
Thessaloniki, 7 May 2014
We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Bulgaria and Romania, met in Thessaloniki on 7th May 2014 for the ninth meeting in a trilateral format.
Taking into consideration that our three countries are partners and allies in the European Union and NATO, maintain excellent relations, are connected with strong ties of friendship, solidarity and multifaceted cooperation and partnership in many areas of common interest and activity, participate energetically in a significant number of regional, European and International organizations and fora and constitute pillars of peace, stability, security, growth and progress in Southeastern Europe;
Believing that the future of Southeastern Europe lies in the EU and NATO, we reaffirm our strong support to the European and Euro-Atlantic perspectives of all the candidate, potential candidate and aspirant countries of the region, providing that all accession criteria and the existing conditionality, set by the EU and NATO, are fully met;
Stressing that establishing and maintaining good neighborly relations and productive regional cooperation are essential and integral components of both the European and Euro-Atlantic enlargement processes at all their stages;
We agreed to:
Examine the possibilities to expand our trilateral cooperation format at the public administration sector, with a view to include and engage more administrative structures (e.g. Ministries). In this respect, we shall direct our public authorities to develop communication and implement synergies on a trilateral format. Our main aim will be to jointly take advantage of the emerging opportunities and address the common challenges in the fields of economy, commerce, trans-border cooperation, energy, tourism, regional infrastructure projects, transport, telecommunications, illegal migration and combating corruption, trans-border and organized crime and trafficking of persons;
Note the important, tangible results attained so far during the current Hellenic Presidency of the European Council in several key areas. The political agreement with the European Parliament on the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM), which is an essential step towards the completion of the Banking Union, the completion of legislation on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the steps taken on the area of migration, border management and mobility of the Union citizens and the adoption of a Directive on maritime spatial planning constitute important steps and developments as well as the positive decision on the visa liberalization for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova;
Accelerate our common efforts for the diversification of energy supply sources and routes and work jointly for the speedy development of important regional energy infrastructure projects, including natural gas interconnectors among our countries and ongoing projects within Southern Corridor and the enhancement of the role of the Energy Community in Southeastern Europe aiming at the creation of energy networks which will connect Southeastern Europe with Central and Northern Europe;
Reiterate our expectation that the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council will adopt as soon as possible the decision for the timely accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen Area. The full readiness of both countries to join the Area has been repeatedly confirmed by the relevant EU institutions, i.e. the European Council, the European Parliament and the Commission, and the adoption of the decision should not be delayed;
Emphasize our genuine will to jointly promote the European and Euro-Atlantic perspectives of all countries in Southeastern European region, depending on the fulfillment of the criteria and the existing conditionality, set by the EU and NATO, and judged by their own merits;
Continue to exchange views on a regular basis and cooperate closely at regional organizations, fora and initiatives, including in the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). We praise the work being done during the current Romanian Chairmanship-in-Office of the SEECP, which is the unique political forum for regional cooperation in Southeastern Europe, based on the principles of all-inclusiveness and regional ownership;
Praise the Bulgarian Presidency of the BSEC and the results achieved during its term, in an Organization of particular economic importance for the region. We will cooperate closely within the context of the BSEC during the present Bulgarian Presidency and the upcoming Hellenic Presidency. It is important to pursue continuity of the two consecutive Presidencies in order to attain added value in all priority areas;
Welcome the Hellenic EU Presidency focus on maritime affairs. Remain committed to identifying synergies and complementarities between EU instruments and policies relevant to the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions;
Enhance cooperation, in particular in the EU, including illegal migration, taking into account the pressure exercised by the illegal migratory flows on the countries of the EU border zone and that any crisis inside or in the vicinity of the European continent could cause irregular flows. In this respect, we emphasize the importance of the principle of solidarity in order to achieve a fair burden sharing of migratory pressures and stress that cooperation with third countries of origin or/and transit of migrants remains key;
Remain firmly committed to uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and reaffirm our support for a political and diplomatic resolution of the current crisis. We support the EU and NATO efforts to facilitate and engage in a meaningful dialogue, involving Ukraine and the Russian Federation, aiming at finding a political solution and call for the rapid implementation of the Geneva Statement on the ground;
Strongly support a much speedier completion of the preparatory work for the signature of the Association Agreements, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (AA/DCFTA) with R. Moldova and Georgia, as soon as possible, but no later than June 2014 in line with the Foreign Affairs Council’s Conclusions on April 14;
Reaffirm our strong commitment to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political unity of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its EU perspective. In line with April 2014 EU Council conclusions, we reiterate that the criteria and key requirements for the BiH progress towards the EU need to be fully met. We support the active EU engagement in the country and welcome the ‘Compact for Growth’ initiative and the enhancement of the Structured Dialogue on Justice to other Rule of Law topics, including to anticorruption affairs.
Thessaloniki, 7th May 2014
Mr. Evangelos Venizelos, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic
Mr. Kristian Vigenin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria
Mr. Titus Corlatean, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania
Joint statements of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Venizelos and Bulgarian Foreign Minister Kristian Vigenin (Thessaloniki, 7 May 2014)
Wednesday, 07 May 2014
E. VENIZELOS: It is a great pleasure to welcome to Thessaloniki, you will allow me to say, to the City of Thessaloniki, a dear friend, my Bulgarian counterpart, Mr. Kristian Vigenin, with whom I meet very frequently in the context of the European Union and NATO. But I am now happy, following our meeting in Athens, in October, that we have this opportunity for another bilateral meeting.
Naturally, we talked about all the major current international and regional issues, with Ukraine topping the list. We share the same outlooks, we have the same sensitivities and the same priorities.
What’s more, we will have the opportunity shortly, at the trilateral meeting with our Romanian colleague, as well as on Monday, at the EU Foreign Affairs Council to talk – yet again, unfortunately – about the negative developments in Ukraine and the need for the crisis to be overcome and for the implementation of everything agreed upon in Geneva, if possible through a new Geneva meeting.
Another major issue we discussed is, of course, our energy cooperation. Both sides see the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as a major development. Our priority now is the branch pipeline between Greece and Bulgaria, which lends new dimensions to the TAP. Because we will thus be able to move ahead another major plan that is easy and quick: the plan for the central corridor for the pipeline linking the Aegean with the Baltic.
Both of us ascertained that the new Makaza-Nymfaio border crossing has been functioning since September with very, very good – impressive, I would say – results. And we want to put emphasis on the functioning of this Makaza-Nyfaio border crossing point.
Obviously, I briefed my dear colleague on the results so far of the Hellenic Presidency, which he is monitoring very closely in any case at the Foreign and General Affairs Councils.
Now, what we have agreed on as upcoming diplomatic and political moves are the meeting we will have at the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Ministerial in June, because this semester Bulgaria will be handing on the baton of the Chairmanship to Greece, which is assuming the BSEC Chairmanship on 1 July 2014.
And our goal is also, in the autumn, to hold the third Greek-Bulgarian G2G meeting, because we attach very great importance to this institution, which has already produced very significant results at the first two meetings.
I would like to ask my colleague to take the floor. I welcome him once again will all my affection and friendship.
K. VIGENIN: Thank you, Minister Venizelos, it is my great honour to be in Thessaloniki today, one of the most important economic and cultural centers in southeastern Europe.
Minister Venizelos did not leave much to be added to the substance of our discussion today. But I would like first of all to congratulate the Greek Government, and especially him personally, for the successful Presidency of the Council of the European Union until now, and I am sure it will continue like that until the end of the Presidency of Greece.
Secondly, to underline the excellent cooperation, which was reconfirmed at the today’s meeting as well, between Greece and Bulgaria, and common views on a wide number of regional and international issues.
And thirdly, with regard to tomorrow’s meeting as well, to underline how important is the trilateral format of cooperation that we have together with Greece and Romania for the future of our region and for the enlargement of the Union with the countries of the western Balkans.
I’ll finish by saying that we, as it was mentioned in previous meetings as well, but reconfirmed today, we have no open political issues with Greece, we work on a wide range of issues which are related to our cooperation, and there are some daily-basis technical issues. one of them I will mention: it is related to the social security of the Bulgarian citizens who worked and are still working in Greece.
We agreed with Mr. Venizelos that we will work together to speed up the solving of this issue, which was raised by some Bulgarian citizens with me. We enjoyed this excellent cooperation also on this issue. I am sure that soon we will find a solution to that problem.
Once again, thank you for your cooperation. I am looking forward to continuing this excellent joint work in the months to come.
JOURNALIST: [Dimitrova, Bulgarian National Television] My question is not about the political issues, but rather for the technical issues. You have discussed the fate of the Bulgarians who have worked here for years and who have the right to Greek pensions.
Could you please be more concrete and tell us what is the reasons for the delay of the payments and what measures could be taken for the people to receive their money.
E. VENIZELOS: I am not in position now to present the technicalities, but our political will is to work together with the Bulgarian Government within the European framework, because we must implement the existing European directive on this issue.
And my duty now, as the Foreign Minister, is to discuss with my colleague, the Minister of Labour, and also with the Managing Director of the Social Security entity, in order to organize the necessary technical meetings for the acceleration of the procedure and also for the elaboration, as soon as possible, of the technical solution for the benefit of the citizens, because our common target with my counterpart is to give tangible, concrete and practical solutions for the ordinary people.
JOURNALIST: [D. Botonis, Greek Public Television] Υou referred to Ukraine. International public opinion is shocked at what is happening there. The country is disintegrating, we don’t know what will happen from day to day. Do additional measures need to be taken, or does the framework the EU already has on the table need to be reexamined, and in what direction?
K. VIGENIN: Well, I can only say a few words on that. There is a Foreign Affairs Council, which is planned for 12 May, it is on Monday. We are going to continue our discussion there, how to approach the deteriorating situation in Ukraine.
It is too early to give any details, but I think we have to have very sincere discussions and see what else the European Union can do in order to help the stabilization of the country.
Of course we are all shocked by the latest events, especially what happened in Odessa – that is something that should be condemned. And we should do our best on our side to help Ukrainians to avoid any further loss of lives.
E. VENIZELOS: I fully agree with everything my Bulgarian counterpart said. It is imperative that the situation in Ukraine be stabilized, to avert a civil war. Unfortunately, we are seeing the prelude to a possible civil war.
Everything that was agreed upon at the Geneva meeting – between the U.S., the EU, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine – must be implemented. A new Geneva meeting needs to be held for political reaffirmation and to strengthen the joint will – provided it exists – to shape a new framework that will include all of the political, social and ethic forces, and all the regions of Ukraine.
And I would like to hope that the discussion we have on Monday, at the EU Council of Ministers, will help in that direction.
K. VIGENIN: By the way, if I may add, there is one more similarity with Greece. Both our countries have ethnic minorities in Ukraine, which makes us even more sensitive about the developments in the country. The Greek in – well actually both of them are in the southern part of the country.
E. VENIZELOS: Our specific concern for the Greek-origin community in Ukraine, and especially in the region of Mariupol, is something obvious. For us, the security of all the ethnic and linguistic communities is something very important and vital.
This is our first national and international duty.
JOURNALIST: What are the expectations of tomorrow’s meeting, what should Western Balkans countries expect from tomorrow, some kind of breaking decisions, or you will concentrate on the overall picture of European integration?
E. VENIZELOS: This ministerial conference, as a political initiative of the Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union, is first of all the celebration of the so-called Agenda of Thessaloniki 2014 as the main achievement of the previous Hellenic Presidency of the Council, 11 years ago.
It’s now a great opportunity to refresh our commitment between the European Union and the countries of our Balkan peninsula, because for us, not only for Greece, but I believe this is also the Bulgarian position, the Euroatlantic pact of the region is something very, very important for the stability and also for the prosperity of our peoples.