Bulgaria is organising a first national event for on 8 June 2023 in Varna. “Challenges and resilience capacity of the Bulgarian ports in a changing black sea region” intends to initiate a discussion on the challenges faced by Bulgarian ports and the opportunities for their development. The discussion will focus on perspectives for environmental and energy resilience, good practices from other sea basins and the generation of new project ideas.
Ports are crucial for European transport activity, Europe's competitiveness and have huge potential for job creation and investment. 74% of the EU's external freight traffic passes through the ports. They are equally important for the intra-EU trade: 37% of the EU's internal freight traffic and 385 million passengers pass through the ports every year.
Bulgarian sea and river ports are an important element of the national transport system and are an integral part of the European Union's unified transport network. In the last 2-3 years, as a result of COVID 19 and the political instability in the Black Sea region, this sector has faced serious challenges. At the same time, the dynamics in Europe's port network have been changing over the last decade – some ports have greatly increased their competitiveness following a number of large-scale investments and the establishment/promotion of new trade routes. Along with shipping, ports are also working hard to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future, paving the way for zero-emission and carbon-neutral operations. One of the main priorities of the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea is "Transport and Digital Connectivity in the Black Sea".