site.btaTransport Minister Meets with EU Counterparts in Brussels
From the very first days of its term in office, the Bulgarian government put road safety among the important priorities of its work, Minister of Transport and Communications Georgi Gvozdeikov said in Brussels, the Ministry of Transport and Communications reported Monday. He participated in the meeting of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council of the European Union, focusing on transport.
"We highly appreciate the new provisions in the Driving Licence Directive on minimum standards of physical and mental fitness. The proposed texts of the Directive provide for a clearer description of the verification of physical and mental fitness to drive before the issue and renewal of driving licences. It is possible to introduce mechanisms at national level to oblige the driver to inform of a change in his medical condition or physical and mental fitness, not only when reissuing or renewing a driving licence," Minister Gvozdeikov said.
Bulgaria also supported the proposed changes to the Directive to facilitate cross-border exchange of information on traffic offences. "Increasing the efficiency of the payment of fines for road traffic offences will have a preventive effect and will further contribute to achieving the set objectives of improving road safety," the Transport Minister pointed out. He added that mutual assistance between EU member states is of great importance to reduce the number of road traffic offences and to achieve the common objectives of reducing road accident casualties.
The ministers also discussed the proposal for a regulation on reporting greenhouse gas emissions from transport services. During the meeting, changes to the directive on the maximum permissible dimensions in national and international traffic of certain road vehicles were discussed.
The meeting also looked at changes to the Directive on port state control and the Directive establishing the basic principles governing the investigation of accidents in the maritime transport sector. On these topics, the Bulgarian position is in full synch with the European one, according to the ministry.
Minister Gvozdeikov pointed out that to strengthen connectivity and overcome the various geostrategic challenges, it is necessary to increase the budget of the Connecting Europe Facility, especially in the military mobility part.
"Building a network of intermodal cross-border infrastructure is part of Bulgaria's efforts to improve North-South connectivity. An important project to achieve this goal is the construction of a new bridge over the Danube at Ruse," Gvozdeikov said. He also highlighted the key role of Corridor 8 in bringing the Western Balkans closer to the EU and in establishing an important transport link between the Black and Adriatic seas.
At the end of November, Minister Gvozdeikov presented the project for an intermodal terminal in Ruse to the European Commission. He stressed at the time that following the removal of the intermodal terminal from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, the state was looking for funding opportunities.