The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria welcomes the Strategy for the Western Balkans. A number of our ideas have found a place in it.
The document recognizes the strategic importance of the region for Europe. That is why we are focusing on bringing the region back to the EU's agenda, for the first time in 15 years. For the first time after the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003, in May this year, Bulgaria will bring together all the leaders of Europe and of the region to move faster together towards our common goal.
The strategy applies to all six countries, which should accelerate reforms and build good neighbourly relations. Progress will continue to be based on the individual achievements of each individual country; no country that is ready will have to wait for another.
Countries in the region have a clear time perspective. 2025 is an ambitious goal and its implementation requires mobilization for decisive reforms in key areas of political, economic and social life.
Bulgaria is particularly pleased that with today's Communication, the European Union clearly declares its readiness to provide additional support for the success of reforms and the improvement of citizens' lives. This is also the firm position of Bulgaria, which we defend consistently.
We also welcome the EC's readiness to support the Western Balkan countries with six new initiatives to strengthen the rule of law, security and migration, socio-economic development, transport and energy connectivity, digital agenda, reconciliation and good neighbourly relations.