The European Commission approved the Cross-Border Cooperation Program “(Interreg VI-A) Greece-Bulgaria” 2021-2027. Through it the two neighboring countries will be able to invest nearly 84 million euros in joint projects for the development of the border regions. Of these, 67 million euros are provided by the European Regional Development Fund.
The program will accept projects under three priorities: “More sustainable and greener cross-border region”, “More accessible cross-border region”, “More inclusive cross-border region”. Interventions are permissible in four Bulgarian regions – Blagoevgrad, Smolyan, Haskovo and Kardjali, and seven Greek regions – Evros, Xanthi, Rhodope, Drama, Kavala, Thessaloniki and Seres. Beneficiaries can be national, regional and local authorities, universities, research centers, associations, non-governmental organizations, civil associations and networks, and others.
Bulgaria plans to allocate around 30 million euros for the development of two strategic infrastructure projects. One is the preparation of a technical project and investment study for the modernization of the Radomir – Kulata railway line. The second provides for the completion of the main road communication of Smolyan, which will take over the heavy traffic to the border points with Greece at Rudozem and Zlatograd.
On the Greek side, the project is planned upgrading the remaining parts of the road section – from the border to Xanthi, together with digital infrastructure measures and equipment with border control and security systems along the direction.
€35 million is earmarked for joint disaster and emergency response projects, support for green infrastructure and the circular economy, and pollution reduction.
An important measure in the program is also support for small and medium enterpriseswho will have access to European funds to promote a circular and green economy, stimulate the connection between business and education, etc., announced the press center of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Projects for the development of tourism and cultural exchange will also be financed. A new measure is the possibility of support for micro or family enterprises and social cooperatives working in the field of culture and tourism.
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