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The Presidents of Bulgaria and Austria called for a revival of the Danube Strategy and more active cooperation between the countries located along the Danube. Rumen Radev made an official visit to Austria at the invitation of his colleague Alexander Van der Bellen. In the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Austria, the two Presidents agree that bilateral relations at all levels are excellent.
Bulgaria and Austria share a common vision for the development of the Danube Strategy as a tool to stimulate economic growth in the region. President Radev highlighted the lack of a set budget for the strategy as a problem. According to him, if the efforts of individual countries are combined and the opportunities of the European funds are used, new opportunities for economic development, tourism and cultural exchange will be created.
Rumen Radev: This European river connecting our peoples for centuries has been interrupted. It is time to join forces.
Alexander Van der Bellen: In recent years, it has been too quiet about this Danube strategy. It is time to revive it again and I hope that the Croatian Presidency will do so from the beginning of next year.
The two presidents support the European integration of Northern Macedonia and Albania. Rumen Radev presented the Bulgarian position that our support is not unconditional and will depend on the resolution of controversial issues related to our common history.
Alexander Van der Bellen: We all know that there are still some cultural and political issues between Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria and between Northern Macedonia and Greece. But this should not prevent the start of accession negotiations.
Rumen Radev and Alexander Van der Bellen commented that migrant pressure on Europe is increasing again.
Rumen Radev: I call for a faster European solution to the problems. Yes there is a European answer.
Austria is one of the priority trade and economic partners of Bulgaria. Since 1996, Austrian investments have been € 4.5 billion. This places the alpine country in second place in foreign direct investment in Bulgaria.
Later, President Radev also spoke with the Federal Chancellor, the President of the National Council and the President of the Constitutional Court in Austria.