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Romania, Greece and Bulgaria want to build a highway and rail transport corridor connecting the three countries

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The prime ministers of Romania, Greece and Bulgaria signed a joint statement in Varna on Monday (9 October) showing that they want to link the three countries through highways and railways, to increase transport connectivity. They also talked about new bridges over the Danube connecting Romania to Bulgaria, writes Cristian Gherasim.

The main transport-related information from the joint statement signed by Prime Ministers Marcel Ciolacu, Nikolai Denkov and Kyriakos Mitsotakis reads:

▪ We are committed to building intermodal cross-border infrastructure across the Danube River, including new bridges at Giurgiu-Ruse and other locations, also in line with existing European standards for military mobility.

▪ The increasing importance of multidimensional connectivity between our three countries, EU interregional connectivity as well as connectivity in the wider neighborhood requires the further advancement of projects of common interest to radically improve cross-border infrastructure. In addition, we agreed to identify and develop new routes/corridors on the north-south axis linking the three countries through new rail and highway infrastructure.

▪ Underscoring our shared commitment to connectivity, we agreed to establish a trilateral working group led by relevant ministers, with the aim of preparing and signing in due course a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the financing, development, construction and management of a corridor multimodal transport linking Bulgaria, Romania and Greece, as well as, as a result, a comprehensive trilateral joint agreement based on the Memorandum of Understanding.

The parties agreed on the need to strengthen and continue the use of the solidarity lines (EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lines) by increasing the capacities of the ports of Constanţa and Sulina, but also ensuring navigability throughout the year on the Danube river. The Romanian side, says the ministry, would have submitted the financing application for the development of the feasibility study and related documentation for the “Military Mobility – Feasibility Study for Giurgiu – Ruse II Bridge over the Danube – FSGRB” project, within the call for projects opened on CEF – Military Mobility. The objective of the project is the design of a new bridge at Giurgiu-Ruse, as well as the necessary access infrastructure on the Romanian and Bulgarian sides, part of the TEN-T Core network, for the dual use of the transport infrastructure, in order to improve civil and military mobility. The total value of the execution contracts within this funding application is estimated at 13,835,779 euros, with a co-financing rate of 50% and an EU contribution

The Romanian Prime Minister states that, together with his counterparts, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria, Nikolai Denkov, and the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, discussed “relevant issues for our region, but also on topical issues of the European and security agenda”.

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