THREE MAYORS OPENED A FORUM ON TRANSBORDER COOPERATION
The Sofia Mayor Stefan Sofiansky and his colleagues from Nis and Skopje - Zoran Cilic and Hristo Penov - opened on February 20 the second economic forum on transborder cooperation. The opening ceremony was attended by the Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy, and the Macedonian ministers of local development and of trade and tourism Fami Aslami and Slobodan Milosavlevic.The forum, which lasted till March 23, is a part of the long-term programme of the three city mayors for enhancing cooperation.Three expert groups discussed joint measures for promotion of business, easier crossing of borders, solving problems of transborder trade, importatnt infrastructural projects, and the construction of Corridor No 7, for which financial assistance from the Stability Pact and various European funds will be expected.The establishment of a united structure, which will coordinate the joint projects between Sofia, Nis and Skopie, was discussed as well. The participants suggested lobbying together in front of international donors.According to Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Solomon Passy the joint initiatives and efforts of mayors are the shortest way to NATO and EU accession.A trade exhibition was held within the forum's framework with participation of 35 companies from Sofia, 33 producers from Nis, and 5 from Skopje. The next economic forum will be held in the autumn in Macedonia's capital.