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Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications
He began his professional career in 1982 as an assistant captain in the Bulgarian Navy.
From 1983 to 1989 he was head of the Operational Department in Port of Varna SPJSC.
He worked as a deputy manager of Saratoga LTD in the period 1991 - 1994
He was also deputy director of Bulunion Bulgaria, Ro-Ro complex Varna - Novorossiysk between 1994 and 1997
Between 1997 and 2001 he was Senior assistant captain and superintendent in Ahrenigel LTD, Hamburg, Germany.
From 2001 to 2013 he was executive director and member of the board of Port of Varna SPJSC.
On May 29, 2013 he was elected Minister of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications by the 42th National Assembly.
He graduated MA in "Navigation" with professional qualification "Engineer - Navigator" at the Naval Academy Vaptsarov - Varna.
Setting priorities in the transport sector in the new programming period was carried out taking into account the European and national policies. On the basis of all discussions and negotiations with the European Commission we have drafted the Operational Programme "Transport and Transport Infrastructure."
The program should be financed by the Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, whose total budget for the program is a little over EUR 1.6 billion. With the national co-financing budget of the Operational Programme "Transport and Transport Infrastructure" it reachs almost EUR 1.9 billion. About 70% of these funds or over EUR 1.3 billion will be distributed equally to the construction of rail and road infrastructure. With the remaining funds we will invest in improving intermodality for passengers and cargo, and the development of sustainable urban transport through the construction of Sofia subway and intermodal terminal in Ruse. Over EUR 77 million from the program budget will be invested in development of information systems in shipping and civil aviation. Our goal is to seek balance in investment between North and South Bulgaria.
It is vital in the programming period 2014 – 2020 to ensure continuity and logical coherence of investments from programming period 2007 - 2013, this will ensure the completion of the directions in which we have already invested and will make it possible to build the core network and cross-border links in the Trans-European Networks (TEN). In the next programming period implementation of projects that contribute to the effective connectivity of the transport network, the elimination of "bottlenecks" in it, reducing congestion levels, noise and pollution, and improvement of safety and promoting the use of environmental modes should be continued once again.
We work hard on the preparation of new rail and road projects. We plan to use the funds for the railway infrastructure in improving the lines Ruse - Varna, Burgas - Sindel, Plovdiv - Burgas and Sofia - Septemvri. Furthermore, through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) we will apply for rehabilitation of railway sections Vidin - Medkovets and Sofia - Dragoman. Our goal is to be able to complete the major transport routes Romanian-Greek-Turkish borders and to improve transport links between the main ports of Burgas, Varna and Ruse.
In the road sector, we are to complete Lot 3 of highway Struma, as depending on the rest of the financial resources under OP "Transport and Transport Infrastructure", the direction Vidin- Botevgrad will be financed as well. Priority projects are Hemus highway and the tunnel under the Shipka passage. Under the CEF we plan to apply for the construction of highway Kalotina-Sofia.
For the improvement and maintenance of existing transport infrastructure and the completion of the missing one we rely on concessions. We make every effort to motivate the private sector and to create favorable conditions to attract investors. Currently the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications conducted preparatory actions for concession of Varna railway station, port terminals Vidin - Center, Ruse - East and Zimovik - Ruse and airports Plovdiv, Balchik, Sofia.
The need for investments in all sectors is huge and they can only be provided through funding from the European Union. So all of us, who manage and implement projects with public funds, must invest available resources wisely and as efficiently as possible. Our goal is to develop transport and turn it into a more competitive, technological and efficient sector that meets the high demands of users for security, quality and reliability.
Click to download full version of IBA's newsletter (March 2014).