- Published: 11.09.2023.
Croatia is true advocate of Bulgaria’s Schengen membership
The two ministers underscored excellent bilateral relations founded on mutual respect and time-honored friendship, adding that the two friendly countries shared the same strategic interests and goals under EU and NATO membership. Grlić Radman said Croatia strongly supported Bulgaria’s joining the Schengen Area. Given that both countries want to join the OECD, Grlić Radman and Gabriel underlined the importance of continued mutual support in the process.
“In order to ensure stability and security in the Western Balkans, it is crucial to carry on with the EU enlargement and that the Union assumes a proactive approach. All of the Western Balkan countries that truly want to join need to have a European perspective, provided that they meet the criteria – the rule of law, good-neighborly relations and alignment of foreign policy with that of the EU,” stressed Grlić Radman. He reflected on the importance of a stable and functional Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the continuation of the country’s European journey while implementing the necessary reforms, including reforming the Election Act and ensuring equality of the three constituent nations. “We hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina will open negotiations with Brussels at the end of this year or the beginning of 2024. We expect all relevant political actors to step up the country’s European path by the end of the year, as the continuation of Euro-Atlantic integration is key for a stable and functional Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the minister said.
Grlić Radman and Gabriel also reflected on Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, agreeing that there was no alternative to a unified and coordinated response by the EU and NATO. Grlić Radman said Croatia continued to help Ukraine and will host in October the International Donor Conference on Humanitarian Demining in Ukraine.
Later in the day, the two ministers delivered textbooks for 120 pupils of Panayot Volov primary school who are learning the Croatian language.
During his official visit to Bulgaria, Grlić Radman also held talks with President Rumen Radev, Parliament Speaker Rosen Zhelyazkov and Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov.