Speaker of Parliament Tsveta Karayancheva and President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović discussed parliamentary cooperation and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The parliaments of the two countries have very dynamic cooperation, especially between the friendship groups, said Tsveta Karayancheva at the meeting. Bulgaria and Croatia have always worked actively and I hope that this upward trend will continue, she emphasised. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović also mentioned the important role of parliamentarian contacts between the two countries and the EU member states, which could enhance the confidence of European citizens.
Tsveta Karayancheva told the Croatian President about the events from the Parliamentary Dimension of the Bulgarian Presidency. She added that the Bulgarian Presidency was very successful and said that Bulgarian was ready to share its experience with Croatia, which would take over the presidency of the Council of the EU in 2020.
The Speaker of Parliament emphasised that the main priority for Bulgaria were the countries from the Western Balkans. Together we have to help them with our experience on their way towards European integration and we hope that this topic would remain on the agenda of the next presidencies, added Tsveta Karayancheva.
We are preparing for our presidency and we wish to ensure continuity, said Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. She added that together with the other countries from the presidency trio, Finland and Romania, they worked on the common priorities. Brexit, the new financial prospect and security and stability in Europe in general are now important for us, said the President of Croatia. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović added that the EU enlargement with neighbouring countries was important for Croatia as well. She expressed her hope that the forthcoming EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia in May would be successful.
Our common interests are also related to Schengen, emphasised the Croatian President and expressed her hope that Bulgaria would be soon integrated. We hope that this year we will be able to fulfil the technical conditions, said Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and added that accession to Schengen was very important because it would guarantee the security of our borders.
Cooperation in the areas of culture, economy, education and tourism was highly appreciated at the meeting. It was emphasised that there were opportunities for strengthening the trading and economic contacts between the two countries.