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EU Danube Strategy Paves Way for Bulgaria's Bright Future - Regional Devt Minister

Date: 30.06.2011

The EU Strategy for the Danube Region is expected to contribute in a number of crucial ways for Bulgaria's development, Regional Development Minister Rosen Plevneliev has declared in Ruse.

Plevneliev hosted a news conference on a boat in the Danube River off Ruse's coast on Thursday, together with Hungarian Ambassador to Buglaria Judit Lang, Bulgaria's Deputy Economy Minister in charge of tourism Ivo Marinov and the Chief Secretary of the Interior Ministry Kalin Georgiev.

Ambassador Lang participated in the news conference in her capacity as representative of Hungary, the outgoing chair of the EU Presidency, whose agenda of priorities was topped by the EU Danube Strategy during its six-month term.

Plevneliev has emphasized that Bulgaria has "serious responsibilities" under the EU Danube Strategy as a coordinator for tourism and multicultural dialogue, and a co-coordinator of security together with Germany.

"The four magical words for Bulgaria now are security, cohesion, tourism, and environment. And I am allowed to dream, and I will tell you how I see Bulgaria in 2020," the Regional Development Minister said, as cited by BGNES, adding "By that time Bulgaria will have two more bridges on the Danube, high-speed highways to Varna, and interconnections with the natural gas networks of Serbia and Romania. As far as security is concerned, there will be more patrol boats on the Danube and perfect communication between the respective institutions from Schwarzwald in Germany to the Black Sea. The Danube needs to have twice as many cruises, and to become a joint tourist product featuring bycicle alleys, rural, religious, spa, and wine tourism."

According to Interior Ministry Secretary Kalin Georgiev, the priority in the security field of the Danube Strategy will be the exchange of information because "90% of the existing problems are due to bad communication."

"We need to find the balance between the free movement of people, goods, and capitals and the quality protection from organized crime," he said adding that the Bavarian security services are planning a number of seminars and trainings on security issues – from personal data to biometric IDs.

Before the news conference in Ruse, Plevneliev gave the start of the long-anticipated repairs of the so called Danube Bridge between Ruse and Romania's Giurgiu, the only exisiting bridge on the Danube between Bulgaria and Romania, for which the Bulgarian government has allocated BGN 1.6 M.

The repairworks will continue through July and August, but the traffic will not be terminated, even though at times only one lane will be used.

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