Following talks in Sofia on February 26 2010, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and his Romanian counterpart Emil Boc were scheduled to travel to Vidin to inspect progress on Danube Bridge 2.
During Boc’s visit, memorandums of understanding were to signed on the 2007-2013 cross border co-operation programme and on airspace, according to the Bulgarian Government media office.
Spanish consortium FCC, the contractor to build the bridge, said that as at the end of January, about 42 per cent of the project work had been completed, Bulgarian news agency BTA said. About 30 per cent of the adjacent infrastructure had been completed.
Konstantin Zhiponov, deputy head of the bridge construction and management unit, said that the bridge would be completed by June 2011, at the earliest, or by November next year at the latest.
The project has been delayed and costs have risen for a number of reasons, including geological conditions and delays in Romanian authorities granting approvals for access to land required for the project.
In a separate statement by the Bulgarian Government on February 25, Borissov was quoted as saying that Bulgaria supports the process of working out the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region but practical actions will be most important from now on.
In June 2009, the European Council gave the go-ahead to the European Commission to work out a new strategy for the development of the Danube region. Plans are for the new strategy to be approved in March 2011.
Borissov said that implementing the strategy would contribute to the social and economic development of the Danube region and raising the level of its potential to correspond to the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy.
In parallel during Boc’s visit, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov was scheduled to hold talks with his Romanian counterpart Teodor Baconschi.