site.btaUPDATED Bulgarian, Romanian Prime Ministers Discuss Possible Funding Sources for Second Ruse-Giurgiu Bridge, Schengen Accession
Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov and his Romanian counterpart Marcel Ciolacu discussed Friday possible sources of funding for a second bridge across the Danube at Ruse and Giurgiu.
"For years we have been discussing a second bridge at Ruse-Giurgiu, because this is an extremely important route that directly connects Bulgaria with the capital (of Romania) Bucharest. This route has gained new importance with the start of the war in Ukraine by Russia, as it is part of the logistical route for the defence preparations of NATO's eastern flank," Denkov said at the joint statement after the meeting.
The two also dwelt on the faster launch of the Ruse-Giurgiu ferry link in order to unblock economic traffic and support tourism, the Bulgarian PM added.
Both Denkov and Ciolacu were adamant they would lobby for Bulgaria's and Romania's accession to the Schengen area as soon as possible. "We have made extra efforts to achieve this goal", Ciolaccu stressed and thanked the Spanish EU Council Presidency for its open support.
"We have met all the criteria set by the European Union. It is therefore no coincidence that we have a positive decision from the European Commission and the European Parliament. We just need to finish the process and we need to finish it together in discussion both at political and expert level with those countries that still have some reservations," Denkov said in turn.
Sofia and Bucharest have made specific action plans between the ministries of interior, border police, as well as at political level, Denkov said, adding that not everything depends on Bulgaria and Romania. In the two sceptic countries, Austria and the Netherlands, there are internal processes underway over which the aspirants to joint have no control. Nevertheless, the Bulgarian Prime Minister expressed optimism and said "I am sure we will manage".
Ciolacu thanked Denkov for choosing Romania to make his first visit abroad as prime minister.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister and an accompanying delegation are paying a one-day visit to Romania.