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Jul 8, 2011


Minister Nona Karadzhova and Deputy-Minister Ivelina Vasileva awarded the most active municipalities under Operational Programme "Environment". They distributed a total of 9 prizes in five categories, as well as a special prize for cooperation.
"All municipalities working under OPE deserve to get prizes, but there are always such among the good ones who are better. They have been elected by an impartial committee at the Ministry", Karadzhova said.
In the first category for the most successful project a prize was awarded to Botevgrad region for the first launched project for waste landfill construction; the Municipality of Primorsko for the first completed infrastructural project in the water sector and the municipality of Kozlodui for the most successful technical assistance project for an integrated project in the water sector.
The region of Burgas took the prize for the best cooperation between municipalities in a regional waste management association under OPE. The partnership between the leading municipality of Burgas and the partner-municipalities Sredetz, Kameno, Nessebar, Pomorie, Aitos, Ruen, Karnobat and Sungurlare resulted in an effective solution to the problem of finding a suitable site for the landfill. Following a constructive dialogue, the municipality of Kameno provided a terrain of 29 hectares with an unlimited right for landfill construction.
Tryavna and Stara Zagora were awarded prizes in the third category as municipalities with the most beneficial consultations. It was thanks to their assistance that the Municipality of Trayvna received a MOEW opinion, containing no remarks on the technical part, while the region of Stara Zagora quickly made up for the delay and is already in the advanced phase of project preparation for regional waste management system.
The Municipality of Sopot won the prize for the most original way of promoting the OPE. The idea about the film, which traces all the stages of the construction of an urban waste water treatment plant, was given by project consultant engineer Veselin Vasilev. The script, staging and shooting was carried out by Luchezar Petrov. The two authors have set themselves the ambitious goal to provoke the ordinary viewers, as well as construction specialists with the idea that nature may be preserved by committed actions, work and perseverance.
In the fifth category for the most active mayor and team, the prizes were awarded to Ivan Antonov, mayor of Rakovski and two officials from the Municipality of Petrich - Antoaneta Angelova and Maria Petkova. The mayor of Rakovski Municipality was personally present at every meeting held by the MOEW and conducted an active dialogue with representatives of the European Investment Bank on the analysis of the project proposal. The two officials from Petrich Municipality took part in all consultations and trainings, organised or recommended by the operational programme. They contacted the MOEW on a weekly basis with regard to different issues related to the preparation of the project, confirmed regular consultations and responded promptly to every request for provision of additional information.
The special prize for cooperation was given to the National Association of Municipalities. Representatives of the operational programme participate in all initiatives of the Association, where the municipalities discuss problems they encounter in the process of implementing EU projects. Of paramount importance was the participation of municipal representatives, appointed by NAMRB in an interdepartmental working group for developing Operational Programme Environment 2007 - 2013, which determined the financing priorities for the current programme period. The cooperation with municipal representatives - NAMRB members, will continue in the future with regard to the preparation of the operational programme for the subsequent programme period from 2014 to 2020.
"I would like to give my biggest thanks to the municipalities for joining the ministry on the hard road to reform of the operational programme. Together with us, you managed to cause an upturn in this programme, which is now on the upswing", Deputy Minister Vasileva said.
"During the whole programme period a total amount of over BGN 300 million was absorbed for important infrastructural projects, thanks to your extraordinary commitment to the process", Minister Karadzhova told the mayors attending the ceremony in her concluding speech.

Green Bulgaria was launched in May and its first category for green business attracted over 80 companies. The campaign will run until the end of the year with another category: the greenest city, which will be awarded a prize at a joint ceremony with Darik Radio in December.