The transport systems of Bulgaria and Romania continue to occupy the last places in European rankings for connectivity, mobility and intermodality, despite the progress made by both countries in this direction since their accession to the EU in 2007 and despite the high degree of harmonization of national strategic documents with relevant European policies and regulations. The two countries share a common river border, which is the subject of European transport policies and actions, as it is part of the EU’s central transport network – Corridor 7 “Rhine – Main – Danube”. From a structural point of view, the cross-border area provides access by air, land, river and sea, connecting the Central Pentagon of the European Union with Asia. In order to be able to use the geographical location, investments are needed to complete Corridor 4, providing the connection in the European space between Vienna to the west and Istanbul to the east, with a continuation of the TRACECA network to Georgia and Azerbaijan and the section of Corridor 9. , which connects the north and south of the European space and specifically Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. The high modal potential of the cross-border region Borovo – Giurgiu turns it into a territory with favorable conditions for the development of intermodal transport and the successful combination of the types of modes of transportation.
The main problems related to road safety and transport conditions in the cross-border area are worn out and unsuitable for modern conditions transport infrastructure, lack of highways, the presence of old and worn vehicles and last but not least non-compliance with traffic rules and unsatisfactory control in this regard.
In order to ensure road safety and improve transport conditions for all modes of transport, concerted action is needed on both sides: Romania and Bulgaria in several main areas:
- Rehabilitation and modernization of the transport infrastructure (road infrastructure, railway and port infrastructure);
- Construction / completion / of motorways;
- Construction of intelligent transport systems (ITS);
- Strengthening the control activities on the road arteries mostly through passive measures through control equipment.
A cross-border problem that has an additional negative impact on traffic safety and transport conditions is the fact that the existing transport network in the cross-border area Borovo – Giurgiu does not provide good enough connectivity between the two countries and the border areas to the two TEN-T corridors connecting Central and Northern Europe with the southeastern part of the continent and the Middle East.
The connection of the regional transport infrastructure with the main national corridors is also insufficient. This leads to congestion and rapid wear of the existing connecting infrastructure and increases the risk of accidents and other transport accidents.
In this regard, to improve connectivity and increase the level of transport safety in the region requires joint efforts of the two countries in the following priority areas:
- Construction of new alternative transit routes to ensure higher throughput, as well as to provide alternative routes in case of road accidents;
- Improving the capacity of the border checkpoint between Bulgaria and Romania at the Danube bridge “Ruse – Giurgiu”;
- Improving navigation on the Danube River;
- Construction of bicycle lanes in the towns of Giurgiu and Borovo, to provide an opportunity to move to and from the jobs of part of the employed population.
To ensure road safety and optimize transport conditions in the cross-border region, coordinated and coordinated actions by Romania and Bulgaria are needed to formulate and implement policies in the transport sector at national, regional and local levels. Such targeted joint efforts will reduce the number of accidents, build and develop modern transport infrastructure and increase the attractiveness of the region.