The prime ministers of South Eastern Europe participating at the CEFTA reunion in Bucharest on Thursday adopted a common Declaration saying they will launch negotiations for the creation of a Single Free Trade Area in South Eastern Europe. The declaration was signed by Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Moldova, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.
Romanian prime-minister said that negotiations would be concluded by the end of September, as the Croatian premier proposed, which would allow the entering into force of the accord on January 1, when Romania and Bulgaria are due to become EU members.
"Supporting the Single Free Trade Area is a clear contribution to the European transformation of the region. This Agreement will help building investors’ confidence in the merits of the Central and South Eastern Europe. It will enhance the competitiveness of our economies and will consolidate political stability in the area," said Romanian PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
The Central European Free Trade Agreement was signed on 21 December 1992 in Krakow, Poland, by Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland. After these countries’ accession to EU in May 2004, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary left the organization, aimed at preparing the candidate states for the European integration.
Romania joined CEFTA in 1997, followed by Bulgaria and Croatia in 1999 and 2003 respectively. Macedonia is the freshest member having signed the Accord this year in February. Romania holds the presidency of CEFTA Joint Committee in 2006.