Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, will be on an official visit to Bulgaria in the period 30 June-1 July as part of his tour aimed at monitoring the progress on the Danube strategy.
In the town of Vidin, the commissioner will inspect the construction of the bridge Vidin – Calafat on its Bulgarian side, as well as attend the joint Bulgarian-Romanian exercise "Security 2012".
In addition, Johannes Hahn will participate in a roundtable discussion on the implementation of the Danube strategy together with the Minister of Regional Development, Liliana Pavlova, who is also national coordinator of the Danube strategy for Bulgaria, the Minister of Interior, Tsvetan Tsvetanov and the Minister of EU Funds Management, Tomislav Donchev.
On 1 July, Commissioner Hahn, along with President, Rosen Plevneliev, and the Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, will open for exploitation a section of the Trakia motorway between the towns of Stara Zagora and Nova Zagora. The construction of the highway was financed by EU funds.
According to information, disseminated by the Representation of the EC in Bulgaria, the commissioner will also attend the opening ceremony of the speed train connection Plovdiv – Dimitrovgrad.
The visit of Johannes Hahn takes place a week after the Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, suggested that Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria should prepare their first pilot project on the Danube strategy. The suggestion was made during the meeting of Plevneliev with his Hungarian counterpart, Janos Ader, within the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development ‘Rio+20’.
In the beginning of this month, the transport ministers of all riparian states of the Danube met for the first time in in Luxembourg in order to discuss a number of commitments to avoid a repeat of last autumn's navigation standstills on the river Danube. A declaration was signed by almost all participating representatives with exception to the Hungarian, Serbian and Bosnian ones.
The EU Strategy for the Danube Region aims at exploiting the full potential of the Danube navigation by removing obstacles to navigability and to increase transport volumes on the Danube River by 20% by 2020. The Danube is also an integral part of the Trans-European Transport Networks.