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Interview with Kamen Kichev

  • Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of Bulgaria - Bulgaria
  • Newsletter n° 8 - June 2010

Kamen Kichev

1) The public involvement has been determinant in recent years for the infrastructure development in Bulgaria. In the light of present global economic crisis and of the difficulties to quickly restart secure economic growth, which are the main priorities the Government intends to focus its attention on in the mid-term for the further implementation of the objectives foreseen by the Strategy Development Plan for Transport?

In order to achieve higher efficiency of the transport sector performance, observing the principles of its sustainable, safe and secure development and in accordance with the consumers' requirements, the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications elaborated a Strategy for the Development of the Transport System of the Republic of Bulgaria till 2020.

The mission of the Bulgarian transport sector is to achieve a fully integrated, competitive and sustainable transport system that meets the economic, social and environmental needs of the society. In that respect, we have defined our main goals and priorities for the next 10-year period (till 2020). The national transport policy priorities are as follows:

  • Efficient maintenance, modernisation and development of the transport infrastructure
  • Sufficient financing for transport sector development and performance. Efficient absorption of the EU funds
  • Provision of transparent and harmonised competitive business environment of the transport market
  • Reduction of the transport sector negative impact on the environment and human health
  • Safety and security of the transport system
  • Provision of high-quality and accessible transport in all regions of the country
  • Sustainable development of urban passenger transport.

By fulfillment of these priorities, the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications intends to achieve in 2020 a modern, safe and secure transport system, providing high-quality transport infrastructure and services to the society.

2) After the Bulgaria 2007 integration, the country has turned to be a crossroads of the TEN-T network in the South-Eastern part of the Europe; how this would contribute to better regional cohesion and easier integration into the European transport system for close non-EU countries?

From a geo-strategic point of view the Republic of Bulgaria has a favourable geographical location that provides a great opportunity for its transformation into a transport bridge between Western and Central European countries, the Middle East, Western and Central Asia, as well as along the North-South direction. To a great extent this pre-determines the potential function of Bulgaria from the transport point of view as a transit country between the countries rich in natural resources, from the Middle East, Northern Africa, Western and Middle Asia from one side, and the economically and industrially strong Western and Central European countries from another.

The existing transport infrastructure is relatively well-developed - there are over 19.000 km of roads, 6.000 km of railways, sea ports, river ports and airports, with links between the ports and the national road and railway network.

Having in mind all this, we could say that the location of Bulgaria is a prerequisite for the better regional cohesion and for the facilitation of the integration o non-EU countries into the European transport system.

3) Which is for Bulgaria the present demand for a domestic modern transport river system so to conform to European inland transport system?

The project related to the elaboration of the river information system in the Bulgarian part of the Danube River - BULRIS, is part of the European navigation and information system which aims at achieving an efficient, safe and secure sailing through the inland waterways. The first phase of the BULRIS project should be implemented in the period 2007 - 2011. That phase includes pre-feasibility studies, system design, elaboration of a tender dossier and tendering procedures for the construction of the basic infrastructure of the river information system. The contract for the implementation of the first phase of the project was signed in May 2010 and amounts at about 7 €M.

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