On November 23rd, in the building of the European Parliament in Brussels, the initiative “Danube Transport Day” took place for the second year in a row. Mrs. Eleonora Ivanova, Chair of the Managing Board of BRCCI, was present at the event, which was organized by Mrs. Ana-Claudia Tapardel – member of the European Parliament, and Pro Danube International, Austria – partner of BRCCI in project DANTE – part of the joint efforts of the public authorities and the private sector to improve the navigation conditions on the river.
Many high-ranking European Commission representatives were present at the conference, among which were Mrs. Violeta Bulc – European Commissioner for Transport, Maja Bakran Marcich – Deputy Director-General of “Mobility and Transport”, Mr. Marco Onida – Coordinator of the Danube Strategy in General Directorate “Regional and Urban Policy”. Other participants were Mr. Felix Stroe – Minister of Transport in Romania, Mr. Veliko Kovacevic – Deputy Minister of Transport in Serbia, Mr. Ionut Pucheanu – mayor of Galati, as well as over 70 representatives of European organizations and companies, linked to the river transport.
In her presentation, Mrs. Bulc emphasized on the enormous economic potential of the river as a method of transport, but also on the fact that there is a lack of lobbying and promoting in the European Commission of the advantages of the inland waterway transport on the Danube. She stated that the Commission is ready to pay special attention to the issue, but a concrete action plan for the river is needed in order for the necessary technical and financial resources to be allocated.
Taking into account that the presentations of the Ministries of Transport of Serbia and Romania both contained concrete programs and project examples, which reaffirmed their understanding that the Danube River is the most effective mean of transportation from an economical and ecological standpoint, Bulgaria not only was not represented on a government level, but all Bulgarian participants in the conference room had to repeatedly listen to the reproaches towards the country for not respecting its undertaken commitments to support the river fairway. The shipowners’ representatives provided specific data on the costs and damages generated for them due to the lack of dredging activities (forced lower speed, more fuel consumption, lower tonnage, delays in delivering goods, damage to vessels etc.).
We remind you that in July of this year more than 60 representatives of European and Bulgarian companies and organizations sent a formal petition to the Bulgarian Ministry of Transport, urging Bulgaria to take immediate measures to dredge the critical areas along the river, in accordance with the declaration, signed by the Ministers of the Danube countries in July 2016 in Rotterdam, which aims to ensure normal navigation conditions for the ships.
As a business organization that is directly involved in a number of initiatives, concerning the development of shipping in the Bulgarian-Romanian section of the Danube for freight and tourism, the Chamber firmly supports these demands and will actively seek support and cooperation on all levels, so that the Danube River could be recognized as one of the priorities for transport development at national level and an important prerequisite for the restoration of Northern Bulgaria.
Copyright БРТПП Българо-румънска търговско промишлена палата 2017