A total of 471 million euros will be spent on cross-border cooperation programs with Bulgaria’s neighboring countries by 2020, according to Deputy Regional Development Minister Denitsa Nikolova.
Nikolova announced at a press conference in Blagoevgrad that half of the money would remain in Bulgaria to be spent on the development of economically backward and peripheral regions.
She told journalists that 2015 was a crucial year because all territorial programs with Bulgaria participation would start by end-2015.
Nikolova, as cited by mediapool.bg, claimed that the impact of cross-border cooperation programs in some peripheral regions was greater than sectoral operational programs.
In the 2007-2013 programming period Bulgaria participated in 11 instruments for territorial cooperation, the most important ones being the programs with Romania, Greece, Turkey, Serbia, and Macedonia.
Over 600 contracts were signed under the five programs with a total budget of 479 million euros.
In the 2014-2020 programming period Bulgaria takes part in 12 European territorial cooperation programs.
The resources under the programs will be used to finance projects for environmental protection and disaster risk prevention, for improving transport connectivity between the regions, for developing cultural exchange, tourism, innovations, economic growth, etc.