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EU Programme for transnational cooperation

Bulgarian Water Association (BWA) is part of a project implemented under the Transnational Cooperation Program Interreg V-B “Balkans-Mediterranean” 2014 – 2020. The objectives set out in the project Urban water full cycle: from its source to its end-users and back to the environment – WATenERgy Cycle, fall within the scope of Priority Axis 2: „Environment“, Specific Objective 2.2. Promoting cooperation and networking to introduce innovative technologies for effective management in the waste, soil and water sector.

The participation of BWA in the project WATenERgy Cycle is related to the purchase of leak detection, monitoring and sewerage network inspection equipment. As well as conducting theoretical training for work with equipment by highly qualified lecturers at the Vocational Training Center “Water Supply and Sewerage” of BWA. Practical training by experts in this field is going to be organized with the help of purchased equipment.

The project also envisages a transfer visit to Sofiyska Voda AD for the purpose of exchange of experience and knowledge, a visit to the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Kubratovo, as well as other awareness raising events. Expert reports will be prepared on different topics, both on the Bulgarian side and on the part of the foreign partners concerning the water and sewerage sector aiming to improve the climate in the water sector.

The overall goal of WATenERgy CYCLE is to optimize integrated water resource management in terms of sustainable long-term demand for resources (water/energy). The project aims to increase the level of adaptation to resource efficiency and climate change resilience to 0.25%. Leader partner in the project is the Municipal Water Supply and Sewerage Company in Larissa, Greece. Other partners of BWA from Greece are the Special Secretariat for Water, Ministry of Environment and Energy, the University of Thessaly – Special Account Funds for Research – Department of Civil Engineering. A project partner from Albania is Joint Stock Company Water Supply and Sewerage Korce. From Cyprus – Water Board of Nicosia and from Macedonia Public Communal Enterprise Water supply and Sewerage – Prilep. Observers in the project are European Federation of WSS Associations (ЕurEau) and Water Supply and Sewerage Association of Albania (SHUKALB) The total budget of the project is 1.5 million euros. Interreg V-B “Balkan-Mediterranean” 2014 – 2020 is one of the EU’s transnational cooperation programs for the current program period. Its scope covers the entire territory of a total of five countries – the member states of the EU, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece, and the candidates for membership Albania and Macedonia.

The idea behind the Programme is to achieve greater territorial cohesion among the participating countries by generating new knowledge, sharing experiences and good practices. Enhance cooperation in the region, make better use of scarce resources and jointly tackle common challenges across borders. The Programme is supported by two Priority Axes: PO 1 “Entrepreneurship and Innovation” and PO 2 “Environment”. Each of these is made up of three Specific Objectives (SOs). The objectives set out in Priority Axis 1 are aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, social and digital innovation, as well as creating links between business and education, and supporting the exchange of knowledge and good practices between the regions. Sos included in Priority Axis 2 are related to ensuring sustainable use of resources and protecting the natural and cultural heritage of the Balkans and the Mediterranean, creating skills for better environmental management and capacity building etc. Interreg V-B “Balkan-Mediterranean” 2014 – 2020 is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) and national co-financing. In Republic of Bulgaria, the budget is provided by the ERDF in the amount of 85%, and by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW), amounting to 15%. Beneficiaries of the program may be both national, regional and local authorities, as well as public law bodies and organizations governed by private law.

Program Managing Authorities are the Managing Authority (MA) – the Ministry of Development and Competitiveness of the Hellenic Republic, the Monitoring Committee, the Joint Secretariat (JS) and the National Authority (NA). In Bulgaria National Autority of the program is set General Directorate “Territorial Cooperation Management” at the Ministry of Regional Development andPublic Works (MRDPW).

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Project co-funded by the European Union and National Funds of the participating countries