The Transport Infrastructure in Bulgaria Needs EUR 7.3 Billion after 2021.

Opinions | December 2, 2017, Saturday // 11:15|  views

For the construction and modernization of the transport infrastructure in Bulgaria in the ten years after the expiration of the current programming period of Eurofinancing after 2020 7.3 billion euros are required. This was announced by Deputy Transport Minister Angel Popov during a conference on the prospects for investments in the sector after 2020. The organizer of the meeting was MEP Andrei Novakov, who pointed out that the EU should invest in its transport networks EUR 10 billion per year after the current Eurofinancing has expired.

Bulgaria needs 4.7 billion euros to build the main network roads, and 2.6 billion for the broadband. "In order to realize all priority projects, we need to provide funding of EUR 2.6 billion, and the figure for the road sector is more than EUR 3.7 billion," said Angel Popov.

Novakov said he wanted to break the myths that there would be no more European investment after 2020. There are specific proposals and an action plan for the new programming period, he said.

We currently have 30.5 billion euros under the so-called "Connected Europe" program - part of them for telecoms and another - for energy, and they are extremely insufficient, he said. In the words of the MEP, we need 70 billion euros for seven years. "But not just 7 billion euros for roads and railways, but a guarantee that 10 billion euros a year will be invested in roads and railways, because it is often something that we have spent for 7 years and the funds go back in the budget, "he commented.

If we finish the trans-European transport network for which we need 750 billion euros, this would create 20 million new jobs in the EU, the MEP said. The money for this will be provided with budget cuts in the remaining "Connected Europe" items. For example, energy and telecoms will "go" to the Juncker plan, because they are priorities that generate profits and can safely return the input to them, offers Andrei Novakov.

However, we can not always guarantee this with the roads and the railway lines because there is a huge social element in them, the MEP said. "Re-directing these two sectors to the Juncker plan and leaving all the remaining resources only for railways is a reasonable proposal," he said, quoted by mediapool.

"When we build high-speed railways in Bulgaria, they are running Siemens trains, when we develop our urban environment, Bulgarian buses do not move here, but we buy them from France, Poland or the Czech Republic. Does that only create growth in Bulgaria? Every euro invested here - in Bulgaria, in our structural funds, 70 euro cents return to the countries that are its beneficiary in this union. Therefore, by the middle of 2018, we have time to negotiate the basic parameters of the future European funding and I will do my best to bring together people with whom we can go in this direction, "the Bulgarian MEP summed up.

After 2020, every area in the country should be considered for itself, and when planning money for transport, besides the GDP of these regions, look at factors such as unemployment, infrastructure development, social index. The worse these indicators, the lower the co-financing rate in these regions, the MEP recommended. In this connection, he recalled that many of the roads in Bulgaria are part of trans-European networks, which are used by different carriers from Europe, so their importance is great. According to Novakov, alongside increased transport funding, there must be a budget line for tourism as well, because it is an industry that generates 12 million jobs in Europe, all the more so as transport and tourism are greatly connected.

"Horizon 2020 works only in six countries, we can not" bury our head in the sand and say - ''this is all we can do''. "The European Union is bound to reach everywhere," Andrey Novakov also said. Otherwise, in his words, we give "bullets" to the anti-Europeans, we are telling them - it's only a flag and a hymn and nothing more. The new programming period has to unite us with the cause - more money, more priorities and clearer goals, the MEP concluded.

According to him, the fee UK has to pay for Brexit from 70 to 100 billion euros is an investment that is wise to stay in the EU.

The Forum also included Director-General of the European Railways Association Philip Citroen, Olivier Sila, Director of the European Commission's Transport Investment Department Matthew Bertrand in charge of the Juncker Plan at the European Investment Bank, MEPs, experts and businessmen in the field of transport and others.

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Tags: transport, infrastructure, projects, future, EU


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