Enhancement of the parliamentary cooperation and the partnership in the region were among the accents in the talks between the National Assembly President, Tsetska Tsacheva, and the Speaker of the Republic of Serbia’s National Assembly, Maja Gojkovic. Maja Gojkovic is on a two-day official visit to Bulgaria on the invitation of the Chair of Parliament Tsetska Tsacheva.
“We appreciate highly the constructive dialogue between the two countries”, Tsetska Tsacheva stated at the meeting. She noted Bulgaria and Serbia share many views and common interests in a lot of spheres, which is a good foundation for a true good neighborly cooperation.
“Bulgaria supports completely the European integration of Serbia and is glad with the successes and the progress of the country,” added the chair of Bulgaria’s parliament. Tsetska Tsacheva reassured the speaker of Serbia’s parliament that our country is ready to share its experience. She noted the direct contacts between the parliamentary committees of the two countries offer very good opportunities.
The two leaders discussed the upcoming snap elections in Serbia. The Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia, Maja Gojkovic, expressed hope that the election results will confirm the support of Serbian citizens for the country's EU integration. She informed that since the beginning of the current Serbian Assembly 500 new laws were adopted and there was yet a lot of work to be done in order to synchronize the Serbian legislation with the European.
"The preparatory work to assume the commitments of a full EU membership is a serious task and amendments to the legislation extremely important". Tsetska Tsacheva added that the implementation of the laws is an important matter, as well as the readiness to adopt the European values. She further said Bulgaria is glad that the last Bulgarian draft for cross border cooperation agreement was accepted almost in full by the Serbian side.
“The Bulgarian parliament considers the cooperation within the Region as an extremely important priority” underscored further the head of Bulgaria’s parliament and said the legislature emphasizes on the partnership such as determined by the Process for Cooperation in South East Europe (PCSEE) and regards it as a leading political format and platform for regional cooperation for European and Euro Atlantic integration of the Western Balkan countries.
The National Assembly President, Tsetska Tsacheva, noted that the wish of Bulgaria to headquarter the Permanent Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of PCSEE is based on the fact that the capital Sofia has gained good experience in its previous capacity as host of the PCSEE’s Regional secretariat, on the fact that it is an EU and NATO member country and has established good relations with the European Parliament and close contacts with its Foreign Affairs Committee.
She noticed further that the essential priorities in the relations between the two countries should be the transport connections, the infrastructure development and the closer cooperation in the energy field.
The two leaders of parliament shared the opinion that the refugee pressure requires stronger communications and collaboration and agreed that no country was able to tackle these challenges by itself. “We have to work on overcoming not the effects but the causes of this unprecedented refugee wave”, stressed Tsetska Tsacheva. In the words of Maja Gojkovic the total of 600 000 migrants had passed through Serbia; 50 000 since the beginning of 2016. “That is the reason why we expect a common policy to be put in place and solidarity on the part of the European countries”.
The visit of the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia began with a wreath laying on the Monument of the Unknown Soldier. The schedule for the visit of Serbia’s Parliament Speaker includes meetings with the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rossen Plevneliev, with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov.