Southeast Europe with a common vision for road infrastructure

Transport ministers of the region discussed the development of the sector

Each Balkan country should improve and build its infrastructure, because this is the only way to develop the economy of the Balkans, said Prime Minister Boyko Borisov during the Summit of ministers on road infrastructure that was held in Varna. The forum was organized jointly by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works and the World Bank and was titled “Renovated roads – Connected economies – Better life”. The event was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev, Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Lilyana Pavlova, Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Ivaylo Moskovski, Minister of Foreign Affairs Daniel Mitov, Resident Representative of the World Bank in Bulgaria Antony Thompson, Executive Director of the National Company “Strategic Infrastructure Projects” Eng. Asen Antov, Chairman of the Board of Road Infrastructure Agency Eng. Lazar Lazarov, Mayor of Varna Ivan Portnih, ministers from Southeast Europe and the Danube region, representatives of European institutions, NGOs and academia. “There are no motorway connections between Sofia and Belgrade and Sofia and Bucharest and only two bridges on the Danube in the Bulgarian section. It is important to aim to build transport infrastructure as in Western Europe,” said PM Borisov. He added that our country is working in this direction and has clear and precise priorities for the development of road links. “Within a month we will open Maritsa Motorway and the part of Struma Motorway to Blagoevgrad,” said Borisov. He added that government priority remains construction of Hemus Motorway, with which North Bulgaria will look differently, the motorway Veliko Tarnovo – Ruse, which is currently being designed, construction of the tunnel under Shipka peak and the two-lane road Sofia – Kalotina. “The motorways in Bulgaria currently form only 3% of the total length of the road network,” said Lilyana Pavlova. She said that the Council of Ministers has adopted a long-term strategy for development of the road sector in Bulgaria by 2022. “After 2020 the EU will no longer finance road projects, because of that we have to move towards public-private partnership for construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure projects,” the minister added.