'Neglected' Northern Bulgaria Looks with Hope to EU Danube Strategy

Bulgaria in EU | September 12, 2010, Sunday // 19:48|  views

14 countries will participate in the Danube Strategy for joint developemnt. Map by http://ec.europa.eu

The central government has been neglecting Northern Bulgaria, EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev has admitted.

Donchev was in the Danube town of Kozloduy on Sunday where he took part in the first edition of Bulgaria's Fish Festival – an event initiated by MEPs from the ruling center-right party GERB, which took place in 7 Bulgarian towns and cities on the Danube River simultaneously.

Donchev confirmed that most of the Bulgarian economy was focused in Southern Bulgaria, and that the government had to undertake efforts to improve the situation in the north.

At same time, during the Fish Festival in the city of Silistra, Bulgarian MEPs and government officials took part in a discussion dedicated to the opportunities offered by EU's Danube Strategy.

The execution of the Danube Strategy will commence in spring of 2011, according to Benin Mollov, adviser to Regional Development Minister Rosen Plevneliev. The special starting even is to be hosted by Hungary, in his words.

Mollov said he expected that the coordination of the plans for the implementation of the Danube Strategy by 2020 among the 14 participating states should be completed this fall, and reminded that it will employ the so called "macroregional" approach.

The Danube city of Silistra will participate with 5 projects in the Danube Strategy, the most important of which is the building of a bridge from the city to Romania's Calaras.

The Fish Festival was also marked with celebrations and events in the Danube city of Ruse where the head of the Bulgarian Fisheries and Aqua Cultures Executive Agency Yavor Nedev announced that the EC has opened three measures for pilot projects from Bulgaria under the EU Operational Program on Fisheries.

"Ruse and the Danube zone is a strategic region, for which the EC is following closely if it will be accounted for in the Danube Strategy," he said.

GERB MP Plamen Nunev said Bulgaria could absorb up to EUR 9 M for its fishing industry of which BGN 3.5 M were supposed to go for the Danube zone.

At the end of September the Bulgarian and Romanian fisheries agencies will be signing a protocol for cooperation.

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Tags: Ruse, Silistra, Kozloduy, Danube Bridge, Danube ports, Danube River, Tomislav Donchev, EU, Danube Strategy


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