SOFIA, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and his visiting Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban here on Monday said road and rail infrastructure of Balkan countries should be integrated into that of the European Union (EU).
"We have the historic opportunity to make a decision on the integration of the Balkans into the EU," Orban said at a joint press conference after talks with Borissov.
He said he was glad to see that Bulgaria took responsibility to move things in a positive direction.
It was not enough for the Balkans to be adopted in the EU in a political sense, Orban said, noting that if the Balkans are not connected with the EU in terms of infrastructure such as railways and motorways, then they would not be embedded in the EU economy.
Borissov said in turn that all countries in the region would benefit from such integration because major transport corridors linking Europe and Asia pass through their territories.
This was extremely important for the growth of the economy, he said.
Borissov said he was optimistic that Balkan infrastructure projects could be implemented by using hybrid funding from sources such as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the mechanism of "16+1 cooperation" between China and the Central and Eastern European countries.
Providing a tangible European perspective for the Western Balkans is one of Bulgaria's priorities during the country's presidency of the Council of the EU this half-year.