Minister Nikolay Nankov: We prioritize the construction of the Second Bridge in Rousse between Bulgaria and Romania

Minister Nikolay Nankov: We prioritize the construction of the Second Bridge in Rousse between Bulgaria and Ro

04 Jul 2018 | 18:15

In July, the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works will submit to the Council of Ministers a draft amendment to the Memorandum between the Governments of Bulgaria and Romania, which will add a second bridge between Rousse and Giurgiu over the Danube River. This was announced by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Nikolay Nankov during his visit to the Danube town where he met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and Public Administration of Romania Paul Stanescu. Deputy Minister Denitsa Nikolova had participated too.

Minister Nankov added that an expert working group with Deputy Ministers and experts from both Ministries as well as representatives of the Ministries of Transport of the two countries will be set up shortly to lay the foundations for the design, the search for a financial source and the creation of a project company for the realization of the planned and included bridges in the memorandum. In addition to the second facility at Rousse, bridges between Nikopol and Turnu Magurele and Silistra - Kularas are also planned.

The regional minister pointed out that his Romanian collegue has proposed to seek funds from the European funds. Other options are public-private partnerships or mixed funding from the state budgets of both countries.

"There has already been stated Chinese intentions not only for the second bridge near Rousse, but for the Rousse-Veliko Tarnovo highway and its connection with the tunnel under Shipka in the motorway gauge," said Nikolay Nankov. He shared his opinion that many of these projects have not only financial and economic logic, but their financial measurability can be seen in a public-private partnership or concession. We all know what is the workload of the current Danube Bridge I checkpoint. Exhausting - hours of queues, especially during the summer months, by cars.

 he trend over the last two to three years has been a 10-15% increase in heavy vehicles per year. There are almost 5,000 heavy duty trucks on average per day, announced Minister Nankov.

According to the regional minister, due to objective criteria, Ruse - Giurgiu has the greatest potential for realization, for which maximum effort will be made.

Minister Nankov stated that today Bulgaria and Romania celebrate the International Danube River Day together, celebrated for the 15th time. Bulgaria will hand over the Presidency of Danube Strategy to Romania, which will be its rotating chairman after October this year.

The Romanian delegation marked the success of Bulgaria as President of the Council of the European Union. Minister Nankov reported to his Romanian party the good work of Minister Liliana Pavlova. "All the assessments are for a successful presidency, and the policies that have been discussed are about the future of the cohesion, the multi-annual financial framework, the membership of the Western Balkans, digital Europe, the security and migration issues," the regional minister said. He pointed out that, at the suggestion of the Romanian Deputy Prime Minister, experts from the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works will help the experts from the Romanian Ministry, regarding the priority topics.

Minister Nankov also reported a very good implementation of the € 250m cross-border cooperation program between Bulgaria and Romania and as the largest of all our country's participation. More than 70 projects have been launched for over 100 million euros, he said.

The Minister and the Romanian Deputy Prime Minister also discussed shipping along the Danube River, as well as the possibilities for the river to be a bridge between the countries, to connect them, not to divide us.

The Romanian Deputy Prime Minister, Paul Stanescu, commented that the Danube is an EU internal river and has to unite all the countries it passes through. According to him, it can contribute in the field of economic and social relations for Bulgaria and Romania. He explained that he supported the establishment of a working group between the two ministries to deal with the acceleration of the future several bridges because the facilities are not only for Bulgaria and Romania but for the whole EU and Europe. He also expressed his hope that a solution could soon be found on the issue of navigating the Danube, which is a great advantage, but it is a problem, because it is difficult to cross the river during some periods of the year.

 “I thank Minister Nankov for sharing good experience from the EU Presidency. We can learn from the experience of Bulgaria because we are about to be EU presidents in six months”, Stanescu said.

In Rousse, in the presence of the regional governor Galin Grigorov, the Mayor of the town of Plamen Stoilov and others, Minister Nankov and Deputy Prime Minister Stanescu opened an exhibition with the best photos from the photo contest of the MRDPW "One River – various paradise spots" and awarded the prizes of the ranked at the top places. The goal of the competition, in which over 630 photos competed, was to promote the natural beauty of the Danube River and to stimulate the development of tourism in the region.

The first place was given by the jury to  the picture of Yavor Michev from Rousse – Ice breaker on the Danube River near Rousse. The second place was awarded to two pictures - Traditional custom for Nikulden on the Danube river near Tutrakan with author Boris Begumov and to the 18-year-old Tolga Kantarov with his frame Boat in the Danube River near Tutrakan. The third place in the ranking was also shared by two people - Boyan Ivanov from Vidin and Nikolay Dimitrov from the village of Trastenik. In the exhibition were also photos taken by Angelina Dimchevska, Vassil Chapanov, Petya Nikodimova, Ivana Ignatova, Laura Valerieva, Nikolay Marinov, Petar Minkov. Encouraging prizes will be given to six other authors - Sergei Georgiev, Lachezar Bogdanov, Mariana Stancheva, Zornitsa Kolarova, Yevgeny Stanimirov and Christian Borisov.

The big winners in the competition received vouchers for tourist visits by Minister Nankov and the Deputy Prime Minister, while all others will receive incentive prizes via mail.