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Southeast Europe Agrees on Growth Strategy

Published: December 8, 2012; 00:26 · (Vindobona)

In order to meet the 2020 growth strategy of the EU, the Balkan countries plan to co-operate more closely. Turkey and Bulgaria emphasize their good relations.

Southeast Europe Agrees on Growth Strategy / Picture: ©

The governments of the Balkan countries aim to reach “sustainable and smart growth”. This goal is a response to the EU 2020 strategy. This month, government members of Southeast European countries and Turkey started talks in Macedonia´s capital Skopje. The government members admitted that the countries of Southeast Europe are still far from these goals. However, reaching the EU standards is not impossible, they said.

According to the EU 2020 strategy, more than 75% of the population aged between 20 and 65 should be employed. Moreover, more than 20% of the energy demand should be covered by renewable sources and the energy efficiency should increase by 20%. In total, greenhouse gas emissions should decrease by 20% until 2020. Furthermore, more than 3.0% of the GDP in the EU should be spent on research and development. The number of people living in poverty should be lowered by 20 million.

This week, Bulgaria´s President Rosen Plevneliev and Turkey´s President Abdullah Gül underlined that their countries will strengthen their relationship. According to Plevneliev, the co-operation between Turkey and Bulgaria may act as role model in the region. Bulgaria´s President stressed that the economic boom in Turkey would be very important for Bulgaria.

Gül emphasized that both countries enjoy perfect relations and stressed the importance of economic co-operation.In 2012, the bilateral trade volume comes at € 3.0bn. In the medium term, bilateral trade between Turkey and Bulgaria will triple, Gül said.