site.btaBulgarian Foreign Minister at 3SI Summit: Better Connectivity in Region Will Be of Use to Entire EU
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel headed the Bulgarian delegation to the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) Summit here on September 6 and 7, her ministry said in a press release on Thursday. Attending were the leaders of the twelve participating countries, and the key topics on the agenda were economic development, strengthening regional security, improving regional connectivity, and mobilizing the necessary investments for infrastructure projects of regional importance.
Addressing the 3SI Summit, Gabriel put an emphasis on the key significance of connectivity and notable results in the strategic cross-border and regional projects. In her words, better connectivity in the region will be of use both to the countries there and to the entire EU, because it means better economic opportunities and quality of life for citizens as well as a more united and stronger European Union that is better prepared for the current and future challenges.
Gabriel noted the importance of Bulgaria and Romania joining Schengen, which will contribute to the achievement of 3SI's goals. She stressed the need of greater interaction between priority projects and the Initiative and the EU's innovation-oriented financial instruments and programmes, such as the Digital Europe Programme.
Of key importance for Bulgaria is the development of the the 3SI's Innovation Fund and the opportunity for funding of projects of strategic importance for this country, she said.
The Bulgarian Foreign Minister welcomed the accession of Greece as the 13th country participating in the Initiative and of Ukraine and Moldova as associated members.
At the Summit, the 3SI countries adopted a joint declaration presenting their common goals and priorities.
On the sidelines of the forum, Gabriel held bilateral meetings with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Deputy Secretary-General Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Odile Renaud-Basso.