Bulgarian president Georgi Purvanov, right, and his Romanian counterpart Traian Basescu review a Bulgarian army honour guard during an official welcoming ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in central Sofia, September 23 2010.
Bulgaria and Romania are working actively to meet the Schengen criteria, Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov said at a joint news conference on September 23 2010 with his Romanian counterpart Traian Basescu, who is on an official visit to the country.
Purvanov emphasised key issues in bilateral relations between the two countries and in their relations with the European Union – upholding the additional requirements, completing the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism and meeting the Schengen requirements, local website Focus said.
"Bulgaria and Romania are investing a lot of effort to meet the criteria," he said.
Regarding the mutual energy projects between both countries, Purvanov said that the Silistra-Calarasi and Nikopol-Turnu Magurele hydro-power projects should be of priority as element of the newly EC financed Danube Strategy scheme.
Purvanov also spoke of the positive political dialogue between Bulgaria and Romania, not only on presidential level, but among the prime ministers and ministers, Focus said.
"During the meeting in Bucharest in November when we are to hold the final talks regarding the new Danube Strategy plan, it will be appropriate to discuss the construction of one or two hydro-power plants on the Bulgarian-Romanian span of the Danube, as well as the construction of one or two new bridges linking both countries," Basescu told reporters.
Purvanov said that it was possible that Bulgaria could join Romania’s natural gas project with Azerbaijan and Georgia. Bulgaria proposed the delivery of natural gas from Azerbaijan, and Purvanov said that this would be "long-term partnership" and that this project would constitute a step towards "energy diversification".
Basescu arrived in Bulgaria on September 23 at the invitation of Purvanov to discuss bilateral relations in the economy, trade, tourism, as well as the European Union and Nato.
Also on the agenda was a business forum, involving about 25 Bulgarian and 26 Romanian companies, in fields including infrastructure, construction, environment, transport, finance, agriculture, pharmacy and tourism.
This is the first visit by a Romanian head of state to Bulgaria in seven years.