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Oct 03, 2022 16:23 EEST
October 3 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria will receive 1.61 billion euro ($1.57 billion) from the European Union to upgrade transport infrastructure as its first operational programme from the new 2021-2027 period was approved, the European Commission said on Monday.
Bulgaria received the nod for its Transport Connectivity Programme, which envisages one of the largest amounts of cohesion funding for the new programming period, the Commission said in a statement.
The funds will enable the country to improve road, rail and maritime infrastructure, promote the use of alternative fuels and environmentally friendly modes of transport, and also move ahead with digital transformation projects.
The Commission's approval paves the way for co-funded strategic investment projects that will help complete the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) within the stipulated deadline of 2030.
Such projects include the construction and repair of railway sections along the Orient/Eastern-Mediterranean corridor, including a railway connection between Bulgaria and North Macedonia, and the rehabilitation of railway lines linking Sofia with the Serbian border. In addition, EU funding will be allocated to projects for improving the connectivity between the Rhine - Danube corridor and the Orient/Eastern-Mediterranean corridor, including for the construction of Ruse-Veliko Tarnovo motorway.
The installation of charging infrastructure for alternative fuels on main national roads will also be funded.
In July, the EU said it will grant 110 million euro to Bulgaria for the first phase of the upgrade of a railway corridor that links western Bulgaria to Serbia. The project's second phase, for building signalling and telecommunications systems as well as European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) installations, will be funded from the 2021-2027 Transport Connectivity Programme.
Bulgaria is also in the initial stages of commissioning the construction of a motorway in the southwestern part of the country, to the border with North Macedonia, also part of the TEN-T network.
For the new seven-year programming period, Bulgaria has planned a total of ten operational programmes and has pledged to deploy 50% of the funding towards its three most underdeveloped regions - in the northeastern, northwestern and northern part of the country.
In July, the Commission said Bulgaria stands to receive 11 billion euro under the EU's Cohesion Policy 2021-2027 to promote economic and social investments as well as the green and digital transition.
($ = 1.02374 euro)
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