Minister Angelkova: With a common Danube brand and joint projects of the countries, we will promote the Danube Region

18 October 2018

At the 7th forum in Sofia, EU Commissioner Corina Creţu congratulated Bulgaria on highlighting the Danube strategy in Europe’s political agenda

Ministers of tourism adopted a joint declaration to outline the areas of cooperation in the field of tourism and culture in the Danube region in the coming years. It highlights in general the importance of culture and tourism for the economic development and job creation in the region, the Bulgarian Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova said after the meeting of the Ministers participating in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region in Sofia.

The ministerial meeting in Sofia launched the 7th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. With the event, Bulgaria handed over the presidency of the Danube Strategy to Romania. The EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu, also attended.

At the suggestion of the Ministry of Tourism, the creation of a common route in the Danube Region was also discussed. It is to be related to intangible cultural heritage and the preparation of joint strategic projects to promote intangible cultural heritage. The initiative can be related to cuisine, traditions, folklore, rituals, festivals, legends. Thus, every country in the region can present itself with its rich intangible cultural heritage in order to attract tourists, Minister Angelkova said. He also pointed out that we also find it appropriate to use the common Danube brand, through which all countries in the region and the strategy can promote their cultural values and tourist products.

The Bulgarian Minister added that this declaration is evidence of high political will to develop joint projects and achieve concrete results.

Minister Angelkova thanked EU Commissioner Corina Creţu for both her presence at the forum and her support for the finalization of the Danube Strategy and the emphasis placed on this region. The countries of the Danube Region are extremely important for the development of Bulgarian tourism, the Minister also commented. She specified that they make up about 41 per cent of foreign visits to Bulgaria. The total foreign tourist visits are more than 2.853 million for the 8 months of this year.

The signing of the declaration and the forum itself are important for the development of the Danube Region, EU Commissioner Creţu said.  The Danube Strategy is a unique project, let us keep it and develop it; it is Bulgaria’s achievement, and during the Presidency of the Council of the EU, we have had the opportunity to elevate it to the level it deserves, Commissioner Creţu said. She added that tourism can bring many economic benefits to the Danube Region, while at the same time some shortcomings have been overcome in this sector in recent years, such as precarious jobs. It is good to have joint projects that build on the potential for cooperation, the EU Commissioner also said. She outlined the role of the Bulgarian side and of Minister Angelkova for bring forward these key topics for the region.

The 7th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva, and Commissioner Creţu, the Minister of Regional Development Petya Avramova and the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova addressed the participants. The Forum was also attended by the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics.

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