Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman on Tuesday paid an official visit to Bulgaria, where he held talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Svetlan Stoev.
Grlić Radman underlined the excellent relations between Croatia and Bulgaria, firmly rooted in European values, similar cultural heritage and shared interests within the EU. The two ministers exchanged views on the prospects of advancing cooperation in multilateral and European formats, as well as on boosting economic cooperation and investments.
They also talked about Croatia and Bulgaria joining the Schengen Area and eurozone. “That is important for deeper integration of Croatia and Bulgaria into our European family, and it is in the interest of the EU for these goals to be achieved as soon as possible,” Grlić Radman said.
In addition, Grlić Radman and Stoev exchanged views on the situation in Southeast Europe and EU enlargement. “Croatia is one of the biggest proponents of the process, as it’s a road to long-term stability and functioning in our neighbourhood, provided that candidates meet all the criteria, of course,” Grlić Radman said, stressing that enlargement was beneficial to the aspirants as well as to the EU as a whole.
Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of Croatia’s international recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations with Bulgaria. “In order to maintain our traditionally strong cultural ties, we are preparing cultural promotion projects to commemorate the setting up of diplomatic relations. This will also be an opportunity to strengthen and expand our bilateral relations,” Grlić Radman said.
The two ministers signed a programme of cultural cooperation from 2021 to 2024, which will additionally intensify Croatia-Bulgaria cultural cooperation and friendship.
During his visit to Bulgaria, Grlić Radman also met with Prime Minister Stefan Yanev and President Rumen Radev, and attended an event organised as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe. Addressing the event, the minister reflected on the challenges facing the European citizens, pointing out negative demographic trends and the need to tackle the issue at the highest levels.