Common European Agenda Issues Tackled by Sofia, Ankara and Athens

Common European Agenda Issues Tackled by Sofia, Ankara and Athens

Bulgaria was first visited by Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos in the beginning of the week, followed by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. The events coincided with important for the EU decisions – the preparation of eventual receiving of Syrian refugees, accommodated in Turkey on the territory of 8 European countries, a summit on migration issues and border control, the enlivening of the processes for European integration of the Balkans via the renewal of Turkey’s EU accession negotiations and the start of those for Serbia.
The Sofia dialogue couldn’t be far away from this agenda of Europe and its hosting can be probably explained by the fact that now Bulgaria is involved under this agenda, being the rotational chair of the South-East European Cooperation Process.
In his talks with the Greek President his Bulgarian counterpart Rossen Plevneliev defended the thesis that the migration crisis was a common problem and that not only Italy and Greece should have hot spots for registration and distribution of refugees, but also some of the Balkan countries that transit refugees towards West and North Europe. The two politicians agreed on the necessity of clear rules, complied with by everyone within the EU, in order for the issue to see no further tension in terms of relations. The integration of even more Balkan states in the EU was supported, but under the condition that the interested countries should respond to certain requirements. It was once again said in this context that Macedonia should respect the good neighboring principle and the one, saying that historical facts should not be manipulated. The Greek party demanded Turkey’s respect for European economic and political realities, adhering to the international law, as far as open issues were concerned.
The talks with both the Greek President and the Turkish Premier discussed the enhancing of the security services’ cooperation. Successful cooperation was marked in this sphere in both the bilateral and regional aspect, including a real effect from the implementation of the recent agreement for police and customs cooperation between Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.


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