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Events
Varna 2015: Ministerial Road Transport Summit
Ministerial Road Transport Summit 2015
September 17-20, 2015Varna, Bulgaria


This high-level ministerial summit was jointly organized by the World Bank in partnership with the Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works. The event discussed the future of the road transport partnerships in South East Europe.

High-level ministerial summit is jointly organized by the World Bank in partnership with the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works to discuss the future of the road transport partnerships in South East Europe.  

The participating officials will review the new development opportunities in the region in order to improve efficiency and sustainability of the road transport sector, and strengthen the close partnership and cooperation in the greater South East Europe region.

High-level government representatives, European Commission representatives, and the World Bank policy advisers and experts are expected to contribute to the summit.  

  

Bulgaria Taking the Lead for Better Roads Connectivity in the Region 

  • The World Bank together with the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works organized a high level South East European summit on road infrastructure development.
  • The Bulgarian Prime Minister called for better connectivity in the Balkans, with the establishment of an e-tolling system. The revenues from e-tolling could substantially accelerate infrastructure upgrade and maintenance of the entire road network.
  • “The heaviest and dirtiest vehicles” should pay their fair share for the structural and environmental damage they cause. The goal is to design a national framework for electronic revenue collection that ensures enhanced revenue collection as well as socio-economic fairness.
Bulgaria is taking the lead in strengthening regional cooperation in the development of roads infrastructure in South East Europe. This was made clear during a two day, high-level ministerial summit organized by the World Bank, in partnership with the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works.
 
The event brought together around 130 participants, including high level officials, transport ministers and state secretaries from Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Kosovo, and Turkey. Participation from the Bulgarian side was led by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Deputy Prime Minister for European Union (EU) Funds and Economic Policies Tomislav Donchev, Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Ivaylo Moskovski, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Daniel Mitov. During the event Lilyana Pavlova, Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, announced that Bulgaria will make this event a regular one - aimed at boosting infrastructure cooperation in the region and its partnership with the World Bank.
 
Participating officials endorsed a joint vision calling for stronger European partnership to enhance regional integration through efficient transport connectivity in South East Europe. 

Over the last three years, the World Bank has been providing analytical and advisory support to the Bulgarian Roads Infrastructure Agency. In February of this year, the Bulgarian Government extended the existing advisory service agreement, requesting strategic advice on how to introduce the European Electronic Toll Service (EETS) – known as ‘e-tolling’ - to efficiently collect revenues. The final report on this initiative is due by the end of the year.

In his address to participants, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov called for improved connectivity across the Balkan Peninsula.

“Transport corridors and railroads are key for tourism and the economy, but in the Balkans we are far behind EU standards in this respect. For example, there is still no motorway between Belgrade and Sofia, nor between Bulgaria and Bucharest,Borissov said.

The Prime Minister further stressed that “whatever we do at home should be linked up to the other side of the border - e-tolling and finding other ways to fund this connectivity should be on the agenda of politicians in neighboring governments.” (Listen to PM’s speech.)

According Tomislav Donchev, the World Bank is not only a partner to Bulgaria, but a strategic partner providing the best of its global expertize for important and difficult reforms.”

Donchev also emphasized that infrastructure development should not be measured in kilometers with new asphalt, but should be assessed by the connectivity it provides.

World Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria Tony Thompson summarized the event by saying: “Let’s talk about roads. Let’s also make sure that we don’t only talk about roads but we also commit and make sure things change in terms of building and maintaining infrastructure in this part of the world. How do we finance, how do we prioritize investments so that we turn the vision into a practical reality that benefits all of our citizens?” (Read his remarks.)

According to Rakesh Tripathi, World Bank transport Project Manager for Bulgaria, “advisory support to Bulgaria means to help the Government not only identifying the problems, but also the solutions, and e-tolling is one of the solutions on how to address the funding gap for roads in the future. It also provides a means to accomplish the goals of the national road sector strategy prepared by the World Bank in partnership with the government”.  He also stressed that “it is not all about the money and revenue enhancement, rather a cutting edge technical, financial and socio-economic analyses are being done to ensure socio-economic and environmental fairness”.

In order to get a global and European perspective, the World Bank invited leading experts and high level officials from leading institutions around the world to join the discussions. Among the participants was the Secretary General of the International Transport Forum from the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development, who has recently been appointed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport., high level officials from the European Commission, former US presidential appointee and World Bank Global technical staff. (Read more about the event here.)

Improving Roads | Connecting Economies |Enriching Lives

Vision: Towards a stronger European partnership to enhance regional integration through efficient transport connectivity in South East Europe.

Objectives: Facilitate the sharing of experiences and knowledge to inform new opportunities and partnerships for regional development. Collectively work towards:

·         Improving efficiency and sustainability of the road transport sector to connect people to markets and services, for greater development impact.

·         Strengthening the close collaboration in the greater South East European Region towards achieving the sustainable development goals for the road transport sector.

Agenda

Day 1 - SEPTEMBER 17, 2015 (Thursday)

All day                        Arrival of Participants and Registration                     

20:00                           Welcome Drinks and Dinner                                  

Day 2 - SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 (Friday), Location: Riviera Hall

9:30–9:35                    Welcome from the World Bank 

·               Mr. Tony Thompson, Country Manager for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, Europe and Central Asia

9:35–10:15                  Welcome Addresses

·               H.E. Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds and Economic Policies

·               H. E. Ivaylo Moskovski, Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications

·               H.E. Daniel Mitov, Minister of Foreign Affairs

·               H.E. Lilyana Pavlova, Minister of Regional Development and Public   Works

·               Statement by the Representative of the Office of EU Commissioner H.E Kristalina Georgieva

10:15–12:00             Ministerial Round Table on Road Transport

·               Each Minister shall provide a brief update on their country’s road sector initiatives and plans

·               Discussion on key challenges facing the road transport in South East Europe (funding, maintenance, capacity building)

Moderated by: Mr. Jose Viegas, Secretary General, International Transport Forum (OECD) and Mr. Juan Gaviria, the World Bank

12:00-12:15               H.E Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria

12:15–12:30              Joint Vision Statement

                                                Moderated by: Mr. Jose Viegas, Secretary General, International Transport Forum (OECD)

                    Group Photo and

12:30–14:00              Lunch

14:00­–14:30               European Commission- Towards a Stronger European Future

                                   Cesare Bernabei- Policy Coordinator- DG Move

                                                                         Moderated by: Mr. Juan Gaviria, the World Bank

14:30­–15:30                 National E-Tolling Framework for Bulgaria

Panel Members:

Mr. Ian Catling, Lead Toll Systems Specialist, the World Bank (WB)

Mr. Andy Graham, Lead Toll Technical Specialist, WB

Mr. Raoul Schild, Lead Toll Finance Specialist, WB

Mr. Jivko Draganov, Senior Counsel (EU and Bulgarian Law), WB

Moderated by: Mr. Rakesh Tripathi, the World Bank

15:30–16:00                Coffee Break

16:00–17:30                International Perspectives in Road Tolling - Panel Discussion

                                    Panel Members:

Mr. Edward Emmett, Former US Commissioner of Interstate Commerce, CEO of Harris County (Harris Toll Road Authority), Elected Official (Texas Legislature)

Mr. Matej Okali, CEO, Sky Toll Corporation

Mr. Jose Viegas, Secretary General, International Transport Forum (OECD)

Moderated by: Mr. Baher El- Hefnawi, The World Bank

19:30                         Dinner

Day 3 - SEPTEMBER 19, 2015 (Saturday), Location: Riviera Hall

9:30–10:00                 RIA – World Bank Partnership – The Client Perspective (Focus on Electronic Tolling), "Strategic Development of Road Infrastructure in Bulgaria and Connectivity with the European Corridors"

·         Mr. Lazar Lazarov, Head of Road Infrastructure Agency (RIA)

Moderated by: Mr. Jean-Francois Marteau, the World Bank

10:00–10:30                The Future Initiatives of the National Company for Strategic

 Infrastructure Projects (NCSIP)

·         Mr. Assen Antov, CEO, NCSIP

                 Moderated by: Mr. Jean-Francois Marteau, the World Bank

10.30-11:00               Coffee Break

11:00–12:15              Road Agency Leadership Round Table (Road Agencies Heads of Countries Discussing Opportunities, Challenges and Areas of Cooperation)

Moderated by: Mr. Juan Gaviria, the World Bank

12:15–13:30                Lunch

13:30–14:00                Bulgaria’s Potential for Sustainable Growth and Shared Prosperity: The Role of Infrastructure

·         Mr. Tony Thompson, Country Manager for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, the World Bank

·         Ms. Stella Ilieva, Senior Economist, the World Bank

14:00–15:00                Road safety - Vision and Perspectives - NGO Panel Discussion

·         Mr. Vladimir Todorov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Association of Accident Victims

·         Mr. Nikolay Ivanov, Chairman of the  Bulgarian Branch Association of Road Safety

Moderated by: Ms. Dafinka Pangarova (RIA) and Mr. Toma Yanakiev, Operations Officer, WB

15:00-15:30                 Coffee Break

15:30–18:30                Social Event

19:30                           Dinner

Day 4 - SEPTEMBER 20, 2015 (Sunday), Location: Conference Hall

9:30–11:30                 Team Building

12:00–13:30                Lunch

13:30–14:30                (RIA Staff, WB Staff): Future Engagement Update and Wrap Up

                                    (By Invitation only)