Hamburg. “Europe should seize the historical opportunity and support the economic progress and political stability of the Balkans.”
This is what Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev (photo) called for speaking at the Evening of Europe event organised by the AGA business association, which over 3,500 German companies are members of, in the frames of his working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany on Thursday and Friday, the press centre of the President’s Office announced.
The forum is attended by leading German companies, such as HypoVereinsbank, Lufthansa Technik, Aurubis, Sharp Electronics, and others.
The Bulgarian President stressed that the development of the European Southeast was a strategic goal of the EU and almost EUR 50 billion will be invested in the region through different European programmes until 2020.
“The European Union can no longer consider Southeast Europe as a periphery but rather as a centre of European policy and geopolitical interest,” Rosen Plevneliev remarked.
In Mr Plevneliev’s words, the security of Europe depends on the stability of the Balkans and that is why it is of strategic importance for the countries in the region to attract more German investments as a factor of sustainable development.
Over the past 10 years, the direct German investments in Southeast Europe have increased six times, while the annual merchandise exchange between Germany and the region has increased three times and reached up to EUR 53 billion.
“Bulgaria is turning into a modern, open, European economy, just like all the rest of the countries in Southeast Europe,” the Bulgarian Head of State remarked.
According to Rosen Plevneliev, nowadays the Balkans are an example that Europe of the regions is functioning. Mr Plevneliev also outlined the efforts for bigger transport and energy connectivity, for attraction of big investors and for the establishment of common economic clusters.