Bulgaria on the right track

Bulgaria on the right track

With no less than 197 participants, the Bulgarian ENDURANCE network had a very successful second meeting in November 2014. Feedback from partners and participants shows how ENDURANCE contributes to more SUMP awareness in Bulgaria.

After the first ENDURANCE National meeting in October 2013, the interest in S.U.M.P. from the part of Bulgarian municipalities remained high. By the end of January 2014 an S.U.M.P. training started in the framework of the BUMP project and representatives of 10 municipalities were involved in the sessions. This training was largely promoted via the ENDURANCE network and some media.

In 2014 there were many political changes in Bulgaria, so the Bulgarian NFP CSDCS planned their second national network meeting after the elections and the shaping of the new government by the end of October 2014. The event was held together with the National Association of the Municipalities in Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB), which organized on 05-07 November 2014 a national meeting of municipal experts in euro-projects with the participation of all relevant ministries and members of the Bulgarian Parliament. CSDCS was sponsoring and conducting the main session dedicated to the Regional Development and Growth of the Regions. They presented the development of the S.U.M.P. concept in Bulgaria, the ENDURANCE-network and its functions, and a proposal to the Bulgarian Government to elaborate a National Strategy for Mobility in Bulgaria.

The main topics discussed with the audience were the possibilities for S.U.M.P. funding and implementation during the new programming period 2014-2020, the transfer of EU best practices and the possibilities for Bulgarian stakeholders to participate in HORIZON 2020 projects.

The meeting attracted an impressive 197 participants - all experts in municipalities who deal with European projects. Most of them never participated in S.U.M.P. training, so they received a short training on the core aspects of S.U.M.P. A discussion with representatives from municipalities under BUMP (Veliko Tarnovo) took place for clarifying the main steps of S.U.M.P.-development, and the main obstacles and challenges. The main barriers in Bulgaria are still the lack of knowledge about S.U.M.P. and the new funding schemes for the period 2014-2020 (HORIZON 2020, etc.). Most of BG cities count on structural funds through the new Operational Program Regional Development and Growth of Regions that will be implemented by the Ministry of RD.
The participants concluded that all kinds of policy exchange with more advanced European cities would be welcome for Bulgarian cities that don’t have any experience in S.U.M.P. development and implementation. Bulgarian cities would like to exchange experience with some EU cities that have already implemented S.U.M.P. in order to see and evaluate the results.

The meeting was very positively assessed by the participants and the NAMRB sent a thank you letter to CSDCS. An extensive article about the meeting was published in the NAMRB Bulletin, which is disseminated to all municipal, district and ministerial offices in the country.

Contact: Lucia Ilieva


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