WHEN: 03 October 2018

WHERE:  Varna

HOST:  BDCA – Black Sea Danube Association of research and development


The Workshop brought together representatives of national authorities, public administrations, sectoral agencies, private businesses, environment protection organizations & other stakeholders relevant to inland water transport and environmental protection. 3 general presentations on inland water transport in Bulgaria have been delivered by representatives of invited stakeholder organizations, as well as 3 presentations of GREEN DANUBE project achievements have been delivered by the project team.  

Bulgarian stakeholders discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the inland water transport in Bulgaria, in the light of the necessary political, financial, technological and other measures to be undertaken towards greening the fleet and reducing air emissions. The National legislative framework for protection of water and air quality have been presented and discussed, along with the main factors for the sustainable development of safe and environmental friendly inland water transport. The actual state of the IWT fleet under the Bulgarian flag was presented by EA Maritime Administration, stressing on the urgent need of modernization and implementation of innovation technologies.

The forum was used also to share experience with representatives of ‘sister’ DTP Projects: DBS GATEWAY REGION - focused on cooperation of public authorities, ports and their related associations as a key success factor in order to raise quality, reliability and efficiency of the waterway transport system; DAPhNE - aiming at development of Danube Ports as environment-friendly, well accessible multimodal hubs; and GRENDEL - a project that supports the Danube vessel fleet operators and their public counterparts in modernisation of the sector.

The Round Table discussion was focused on identification of the existing drivers and barriers at national level, as well as on finding the main priorities for further actions. Some good and some bad practices on sustainable inland water transportation have been showcased. Key priorities have been underlined, and important aspects have been highlighted, reflecting national policy agenda in greening the IWT fleet:

  • Improvement of national regulatory framework is needed to provide financial support mechanism (as well as attracting EU funding) for introduction of greening technologies in IWT
  • Relevant business models shall be developed, to justify the financial investments in greening technologies, considering that greening solutions shall be treated as  “business cases”, providing relevant financial sustainability of IWT sector
  • Personnel supporting actions are necessary, including training on environmentally friendly navigation of skippers and staff employed in the IWT shipping; promotional programs and remuneration packages are needed, to avoid staff leaving Bulgaria, and working abroad
  • Measures of improvement of inland navigation infrastructure are necessary, as a part of the multimodal transport infrastructure
  • Existing public pressure, and relevant demand on better air quality, shall be used as a driver to speed-up political decisions concerning the introduction of greening solutions in transport in general, and including also IWT
  • Introducing innovative greening solutions shall be undertaken in such a way to guarantee safety and security of navigation - that shall be included in the future support schemes to address together technological modernization and  operational improvements.

Conclusions and recommendations of the workshop will be used for validation of the GREEN DANUBE Draft Policy Agenda, on integration project outputs into existing legislative framework, in support of the EU legislation on greening inland waterway transport.

List of Presentations delivered:

  1. GREEN DANUBE project – General presentation,  Dr. V. Penchev, BDCA
  2. Challenges and opportunities facing  river transport in Bulgaria; Capt. Ivan Zhekov Ivanov, Director, River Supervision- Rouse, EA Maritime Administration
  3. Presenting  DBS GATEWAY REGION Project and DAPhNE Project; Mrs. Anna Natova, Director of the Project Management Directorate,  Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company,  at BPI Co.
  4. Draft Policy Agenda on integration  of  Green Danube results in support of the EU legislation on greening Inland Waterway Transport, Mr. V. Penchev, BDCA
  5. Collaboration for Innovative Water Transport Solutions – BlueNET Project; Mrs. Ilze Atanasova, President of the board, Marine Cluster Bulgaria,  Chairman
  6. Green Danube Project Work Package WP4: Greening Technologies for Water Transport. Innovative solutions. Good practices; Dr. V. Penchev , Mrs. S. Shukrieva, Mr. F. Penchev, BDCA

Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)