The Operational Programme on Transport 2007-2013 (OPT) is one of the seven operational programmes of the Republic of Bulgaria, which are financed by the Structural and the Cohesion Funds of the EU. The OPT is the operational programme with the largest budget in Bulgaria - EUR 2 003 481 163.68.
The goal of OPT is development of railway, road and waterway infrastructure, as well as stimulation of development of mixed transport in accordance with the transport policy of the European Union and the established requirements for development of the Trans-European transport network in order to achieve stability of the Bulgarian transport system.
Specific features of the OPT are advanced selection of particular Beneficiaries of the projects and advanced prioritization of an indicative list of infrastructure projects envisaged for financing under the programme.
The operational programme is focused on several strategic priorities, which will contribute to the integration of the national transport network in the EU one. Achieving those priorities will make a fundamental contribution towards stable and balanced economic growth in the country in the intermediate- and the long- term.
The general goal of the OPT is
- Development of a stable transport system.
The specific goals of the programme are:
- Integration of the national transport system in the transport network of the European Union;
- Achieving balance between different types of transport.
According to Council Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006 the programme has to be defined at the level of Priority Axes, underlining the most important directions of development. There are five Priority Axes in the OPT. The Priority axes of Operational Programme on Transport and the respective beneficiaries are:
Priority axis I - Development of railway infrastructure along the major national and Pan-European transport axes
- National Railway Infrastructure Company.
Priority axis II - Development of road infrastructure along the major national and Pan-European transport axes
- Road Infrastructure Agency;
Priority axis III - Improvement of intermodality for passenger and freight
- Sofia Municipality - "Metropolitan" JSC;
- National Railway Infrastructure Company;
Priority axis IV - Improvement of the maritime and inland-waterway navigation
- Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of Danube River;
- Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company;
Priority axis V - Technical Assistance
- The Managing authority of OPT;
- All beneficiaries;
There are 17 projects planned for implementation under the first four priority axes.
Preparation of the OPT
The preparation of the OPT started in October, 2004, implementing the partnership principleamong the key ministries, non-governmental organizations, employers' organizations, socio-economic partners, academic circles, regional and local authorities, whose representatives are members of the Working Group, established with an Order of the Minister of Transport. The coordination of the preparation of the OPT and its coherence with the other Operational Programmes and the National and European transport policies was achieved by the Coordination of Programmes and Projects Directorate - the Managing Authority of the OPT in close cooperation with the Agency for Economic Analysis and Forecasting - Secretariat of National Development Plan. The separate chapters of the OPT were elaborated, discussed and agreed with the members of the Working Group during eleven working sessions.
Basic documents, used in the process of elaboration of the Sectoral Operational Programme on Transport:
- National Strategic Reference Framework;
- White paper: "European transport policy for 2010: time to decide" and its revision in 2006;
- The Report from the High Level Group I chaired by Karel van Miert and the Decision
- (EC) 1692/96 revised by the Decision (EC)884/2004;
- The Report from the High Level Group Chaired by Loyola de Palcio on Extension of
- the Major trans-European Transport Axes to the Neighbouring Countries and Regions,
- November 2005 and the Commission's Communication 2007 February 7;
- Strategy for the Development of the Transport Infrastructure of the Republic of Bulgaria by 2015;
- National Strategy for Integrated Development of Infrastructure of the Republic of
- Bulgaria for the Period 2006-2015;
- Ten Year Development Plan for NRIC developed under Project "Railway
- Organizational Restructuring - Management Development of the Railway
- Infrastructure Company" by SYSTRA, CIE Consult, Railplan and Deloitte&Touche
- financed by PHARE programme 2002;
- Development of Strategy for Integration of the Bulgarian Railway Infrastructure into
- the European Intermodal Transport Network;
- Study to Improve Navigation on the Danube in Bulgaria and Romania, prepared by
- Frederic R. Harris B.V. financed by PHARE programme, December 1999;
- Strategy for development of the inland-waterway transport, sea transport and ports
- until the accession of the Republic of Bulgaria into the European Union;
- National ISPA Strategy - sector Transport;
- National environmental strategy for the period 2000-2006;
- National Environmental Strategy for the Period 2005-2014 (Action Plan).
The major steps for preparation of the Operational Programme on Transport are defined with the Council of Ministers Decree No 171 from August 2002, amended by the Council of Ministers Decree No 12 from 19 January 2004.
According to the Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006, laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999, the Operational Programme on Transport is a part of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), which, on the basis of coordinated sequence of priorities, defines the strategy development of the transport sector for the period 2007-2013, with the aim to achieve the EU "Convergence" objective. The Operational Programme on Transport will be co-financed by the Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.
The Sectoral Operational Programme on Transport is elaborated in pursuance of:
- Council of Ministers Decree No 171/02.08.2002, amended by the Council of Ministers Decree No 12/19.01.2004 concerning the establishment of Coordination Council on the National Development Plan/NSRF and the process of preparation of the programming documents concerning the participation of the Republic of Bulgaria in the European Union Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund;
- Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006;
- Chapter 21 "Regional policy and co-ordination of structural instruments".