The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic launched her official state visit to Bulgaria today with a meeting with the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria Tsveta Karayancheva.
Gojkovic and Karayancheva said that the parliamentarians, representatives of the Serbian and Bulgarian people, are working hard to further the good relations between the two nations based not only on their geographical proximity and centuries of history, but also on a similar language, culture, common faith and traditions.
Gojkovic and Karayancheva agreed that it would be very useful to further cooperation at the level of parliamentary working bodies such as the committees on foreign affairs and European integration, transportation, infrastructure and tourism, and in view of the two governments’ common priorities concerning education, IT and digitalization the Serbian and Bulgarian parliament could also contribute in these fields.
Gojkovic said that experiences relating to the European integration process are very important for Serbia, especially those concerning the adaptation of the national legislation to the EU acquis. The Serbian Parliament Speaker thanked Bulgaria for its support of Serbia’s Euro-integration, during whose presidency the country managed to open two negotiation chapters, adding that the dynamics should pick up speed in the coming period and that she expected the support of the Bulgaria, Austria and Romania trio in this regard.
Gojkovic and Karayancheva agreed that the European Union needs to view the Western Balkans not as part of the problem but as part of the solution and Karayancheva stressed that Bulgaria is ready to assist Serbia on the road to the EU, adding that accession demands reforms and that it is a difficult process, one in which the members of the Bulgarian Parliament who had gone through it can lend a helping hand.
Gojkovic and Karayancheva agreed that the realization of joint infrastructural projects is very important because they guarantee interconnectedness between the two countries and the region at large and stimulate the development of business cooperation and tourism which has already begun to follow and upward trend.
Gojkovic and Karayancheva also discussed the position of the Bulgarian national minority and Karayancheva thanked President Vucic for his efforts to this end and the progress achieved concerning the position of the Bulgarian national minority, stressing that issues concerning education and media in Bulgarian are being resolved in the national minority’s interest.
Gojkovic said that the Bulgarian national minority is a bridge of cooperation between the two countries, highlighting the considerable progress achieved in the area managed per European standards and adding that the Serbian leadership is committed to advancing the position of the Bulgarian national minority, as evidenced in publication of textbooks in Bulgarian.
Gojkovic invited the President of the Bulgarian National Assembly to visit Serbia next year, on the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and celebrate the date together.
Gojkovic and the President of the Bulgarian National Assembly laid a wreath at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier in Sofia.
The National Assembly delegation also includes foreign affairs and European integration committee members Maja Puzic and Zarko Micin, and the Head of the PFG with Bulgaria Novica Toncev.