Short Description of Project

The project, called "SPATIAL", is aimed to develop a Common Strategy for sustainable management of the cross-border area between Bulgaria and Romania. It offers an common integrated approach to the whole cross-border region and draws attention to certain functional areas. Thereby, the project overcomes the limitations imposed by national borders.

Applying a holistic approach and taking into account economic, social and environmental elements, the strategic nature of the project is underlined by the proposed activities:

  • Identify elements with potential;
  • Identify key issues / sectoral areas of analysis;
  • Development of an integrated and harmonized database;
  • Develop a strategy for the whole border region;
  • Finding ways of cooperation between authorities and citizens, and between all stakeholders on both sides of the Danube river;
  • A common approach in the implementation of investment projects under the Danube Strategy of the European Union and the European Structural and investment funds for the period - 2014 – 2020.

SPATIAL defines and establishes a framework for cooperation to facilitate the use of the potential capital of the territory in order to foster competitiveness and innovation across the region and to protect and improve the environment.

SPATIAL helps to define the next financial period (2014-2020) for the two countries by identifying and prioritizing interventions with high impact in the border region in the context of the development priorities of the European Union.

The analyzed administrative territory of the project include:

  • Seven counties in Romania Mehedinti, Dolj, Olt, Teleorman, Giurgiu, Calarasi, Constanta;
  • Nine districts in Bulgaria: Vidin, Vratsa, Montana, Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo, Ruse, Silistra, Dobrich, Razgrad.

The total area is over 71 000 km2.

Trans-boundary effects

The project will provide a coherent and integrated approach to the development of the lower part of the Danube river, including one of the longest borders in Europe with 610 km border, of which 470 km on the Danube - an important structural element on European level. Moreover, the project will provide continuity and will lay the foundation for transnational development strategy for the entire Danube region. The project, developed at the level of NUTS III, covers an area of 71,930 square kilometers, of which 54.66% is the Romanian territory and the remaining 45.34% Bulgarian.

SPATIAL contributes to the objectives of the Operational Programme for Cross Border Cooperation Romania - Bulgaria 2007 - 2013 by mobilizing people, communities and economic actors of the cross-border region Romania - Bulgaria for the development of common projects for cross-border cooperation and use resources of both countries. The strategy aims to create a common framework and vision for the area that have common characteristics and common challenges. SPATIAL creates capacity in support of the Partnership agreements between Bulgaria and Romania, outlining the support from the EU structural and investment funds for the period 2014 - 2020 .

Lead partner is the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration, Romania.

The eleven project-partners from Romania and Bulgaria are:
2. Ministry of Regional Development (Bulgaria)
3. Romanian Association for Electronic and Software Industry- Oltenia Subsidiary (Romania)
4. Centre of Consultancy and Project Management – EUROPROJECT (Romania)
5. National Administration for Land Reclamation (Romania)
6. District Administration - Pleven (Bulgaria)
7. Human Resources Development Agency (Bulgaria)
8. Business Support Centre for Small and Medium Enterprises - Ruse (Bulgaria)
9. Agency of Sustainable Development and Eurointegration - Ecoregions (Bulgaria)
10. Bulgarian Association for Alternative Tourism (Bulgaria)
11. Veliko Turnovo Municipality (Bulgaria)
12. Association of Danube River Municipalities (Bulgaria)

Agency for Sustainable Development and European Integration - ECOREGIONS is a project-partner responsible mainly for:

  • Creating an integrated reference land cover SDB layer for the cross-border territory, based on the new standard ISO 19144-2 and in compliance with EU Directive 02 /2007 - INSPIRE;
  • Providing opportunities for harmonized and user- oriented changes in the existing spatial databases related to land use planning, management and investment project poreparation by creating the necessary software infrastructure;
  • Facilitating administrative levels (local, regional, national, European) for regular monitoring of the changes, data harmonization, foresight and risk prevention, permanently strengthening the operational capacity by building a Regional center for integrated risk and territory management for the region of Lower Danube;
  • Together with leading ministries of the two countries and other partners, to assist in the dissemination of best practices in other cross-border areas in the Danube region;
  • Access to information to ensure civilian control in compliance with the relevant rules of access;

Total project cost: 6.813.222,50 EUR

The objectives, taken into account are:

  • Implementation of a comprehensive assessment of the social, economic and territorial cohesion and economic competitiveness of the cross-border area Romania - Bulgaria;
  • Elaboration of a strategy for sustainable territorial and economic development of the cross-border region Romania - Bulgaria;
  • Create detailed and operational database for the cross-border territory of Romania - Bulgaria;
  • Development and implementation of effective and sustainable territorial monitoring tools, including the establishment of a Regional center for integrated risk and territory management of the region of the Lower Danube;
  • Develop and implement thematic pilot projects as major contribution to further lasting realization;
  • Raise awareness in the cross-border area Romania - Bulgaria on the common problems and sustainable solutions in the area and to promote effectively the region, as well as risk prevention and foresight/simulation of the possible consequences of management decisions and implemented projects.

Target Groups

  • Central and local government authorities are responsible for spatial and urban development in Romania and Bulgaria, so they have a key role in implementing the Strategy.
  • Business environment, SWE,s and other interested groups have private financial potential to increase the budget for certain public interventions.
  • Research institutions and universities are one of the most important target groups that can offer innovative approaches for future development
  • Civil society - a key point to ensure the success of the project
  • Partners from other European countries, leading European regional programs such Danube Strategy, Black Sea and Baltic Sea Strategies;