site.btaVarna Hosts Second Local Conference of BTA's EU-Backed Europe in Bulgaria Project

Varna Hosts Second Local Conference of BTA's EU-Backed Europe in Bulgaria Project
Varna Hosts Second Local Conference of BTA's EU-Backed Europe in Bulgaria Project
BTA Photo

The second conference in Bulgaria's North East Region of the new EU-backed BTA project "Europe in Bulgaria: A Common Future", was held at the BTA Press Club in Varna on Wednesday. Opening the event, BTA Director General Kiril Valchev said that cohesion means growing closer and movement rather than alignment. The EU would not have meaning if all countries look the same way, he added in his video address.

He called on the participants in the forum to lead the talks in a way showing that cohesion does not mean Varna moving and starting to look like the cities in Western Europe; quite the opposite: it means Varna giving good examples to those cities.

According to Valchev, the whole meaning behind the idea of cohesion policies at first sight looks mercantile - to help those member states whose GDP is below 90% of the EU average, to allow them to narrow the economic and social gap. He said that the financial criterion shouldn't be the only one to be used in cohesion policies. There are things which can't be measured in money, things which are part of Europe's foundation, he underlined.

He also said that Varna is a model of excellence in education with its many universities - but the brightest example is its maritime education. He emphasized that Varna's Naval Academy has always been among the best naval universities in the world.

The forum's participants included representatives of the government and the local authorities, of operational and regional programmes for cooperation, the Municipal Information Centre, and the academic community. The guests were addressed by Varna Regional Governor Mario Smarkov.

Following is a soundbite from the discussions:

Varna is the first deep tech innovative valley in Europe, said the rector of the University of Economics, Prof. Evgeni Stanimirov. He clarified that Varna should have a long-term development plan not only on the topic of artificial intelligence but mostly on natural intelligence. 

Desislava Ushkolova, the head of the Programming and Contracting Unit at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, pointed out that BGN 3.9 billion will be invested as part of Operational Programme Human Resources Development until 2027. 740,00 people can rely on support through different procedures. 

Dilyana Tanova, senior expert for technical verification of EU-funded projects and Katya Mateeva, senior expert for financial verification of EU-funded projects, said that close to BGN 166.7 million will be invested in 2021-2027 for the development of the quality and the digital transformation of school education. The whole budget for EU-backed education programmes is BGN 807 million, added Tanova.

Vladimir Bobev - head of the Regional sector Varna in General Directorate "European Funds for Competitiveness" in Ministry of Innovation and Growth - also said that the budget of the instruments supporting the innovations and competitiveness in the Economy sector is over BGN 6.9 million. 

The goals of the Transport Connectivity Programme were presented by Iveta Koleva, head of Programming Department at the Transport Ministry.

Rayna Popova, an expert at the INTERREG programmes unit of the Regional Development and Public Works Ministry, added that two calls for projects will be announced under the EU-funded Black Sea Basin Programme 2021-2027.




By 15:28 on 07.06.2023 Today`s news

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