site.btaPeople Need to See What European Union Is Doing for Them, Says Political Adviser at Bulgarian Embassy in Serbia

People Need to See What European Union Is Doing for Them, Says Political Adviser at Bulgarian Embassy in Serbia
People Need to See What European Union Is Doing for Them, Says Political Adviser at Bulgarian Embassy in Serbia
Ivaylo Kashkanov at the cross-border conference on the project "Europe in the Balkans: Common Future" in Belgrade, June 14, 2024 (BTA Photo)

People need to see what the European Union is doing for them, said Ivaylo Kashkanov, Political Counsellor at the Bulgarian Embassy in Serbia, during the sixth cross-border conference on the project "Europe in the Balkans: Common Future" in Belgrade on Friday.

Kashkanov noted that Bulgaria has always been ready to stand by Serbia on its way to the European Union and that cross-border cooperation between the two countries has been going on successfully since 2004. "For 20 years, Bulgaria and Serbia have been implementing joint projects under the cross-border programme between the two countries with financial support from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance of the European Union Cohesion Policy", he said, adding that during the programming period 2014-2020, 106 projects with a total value of nearly EUR 32 million were implemented.

He pointed out that several municipalities on both sides of the border have been within the scope of these projects, including Vidin, Montana, Vratsa, Sofia-region, Pernik and Kyustendil on the Bulgarian side and Bor, Zajecar, Nishava, Toplica, Pirot, Jablanica and Pcinja on the Serbian side. "These regions in both countries are one of the least developed and suffer from major demographic problems, so the numbers of projects are impressive," noted Kashkanov.

The budget of the Interreg-IPA Cross-border Cooperation Bulgaria-Serbia Programme for the programming period 2021-2027 amounts to over EUR 38 million euros, which will be invested in projects with three main priorities, aiming to make the region more competitive, sustainable and integrated, said Kashkanov. Direct support will be provided for small and medium-sized enterprises for the development and implementation of technological solutions and investments aimed at reducing production costs and increasing competitiveness, Kashkanov said.

The BTA project "Europe in the Balkans: A Common Future" is supported by the European Commission. It aims to foster a better understanding of the role of cohesion policy in the Balkans; to raise awareness of projects funded by the EU through the Cohesion Funds; promote dialogue on the results of the projects at local level and boost civic participation in issues related to cohesion policy. 

The project is funded with EUR 348,871. To achieve the project's aims, BTA is using a media mix and expects to reach out to between 700,000 and 1 million people in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece and Turkiye. 

The series of conferences under the project was launched on December 20, 2023 in Sofia. The programme until August 2024 envisages BTA-hosted discussions in the cities of Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Varna, Vidin, Vratsa, Gabrovo, Dobrich, Kazanlak, Kardzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Samokov, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofia, Stara Zagora, Targovishte, Haskovo, Shumen, Yambol, Kardzhali and Haskovo, as well as cross-border conferences in Belgrade, Bosilegrad, Bucharest, Edirne, Skopje and Thessaloniki. 

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By 06:07 on 16.07.2024 Today`s news

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