The two countries have problems with defining their river border and with the division of the islands on the Danube. It is remarkable how the last time they reached agreement on these issues was in … 1908.
This article deals with the issue of defining the border between Bulgaria and Romania on the Danube. Attempts by the two neighbouring countries to resolve the issue of the border and the membership of the islands on the Danube in the second half of the 20th century – through regular bilateral meetings between party leaders and government representatives from Bulgaria and Romania, as well as numerous discussions in joint expert commissions – have failed to resolve the controversial issue and to date the Romanian-Bulgarian river border continues to be established on the basis of the convention signed in 1908.
This article was published in the journal Past (Minalo), issue 2-3, year 2021. Spaska Shumanova is an expert at the State Archives Agency in Sofia. She is the author of the book “Bulgarian-Romanian Political Relations (1944-1989)”, published in Bulgarian in 2020.
History of the efforts of Bulgaria and Romania for transport interconnection over the river
Institute of Balkan Studies with Center for Thracology – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
An earlier version of this article was presented at the joint Bulgarian-Romanian historical commission, whose secretary from the Bulgarian side is the author. The text was given exclusively to the blog “The Bridge of Friendship” and will become a part of a digital book on Bulgarian-Romanian political relations from 1878 until today.
The idea of building a bridge over the Danube, connecting Bulgaria and Romania has a long history and, although with varying intensity, it has been permanently present in the bilateral relations from the end of the 19th to the present day. If we are not to go so much back to the time of Constantine the Great, when the first bridge over the Danube connecting the people on both sides of the river, but focus on more modern times, the issue was raised during the time of Ottoman rule and after the Crimean War (1853-56) it became an integral part of the diplomacy and politics in the Balkans and a number of European countries. The construction of a bridge over the Danube was associated with the first plans for railway construction in the Ottoman Empire and the implementation of a land connection between Western and Central Europe to the Balkan Peninsula with access to the Aegean Sea. In 1881, only three years after the Liberation of Bulgaria, the first contacts were established between the Bulgarian principality and Romania, where the possibility of building a bridge over the Danube was discussed. Since then, this issue has become one of the constant topics in the relations between the two neighboring countries, but it has turned out to be very difficult to solve and it takes more than seven decades for this idea to be realized in practice. Another six decades were to pass before a second bridge was built over the Danube, connecting the Bulgarian and Romanian riverbanks. Negotiations for the construction of new bridges between the two countries continue to this day, and the prospects for success are not very clear.
The coordinator for Infrastructure and Transport at the Coalition for Romania’s Development has come out publicly with proposals for joint action between Romania and Bulgaria and infrastructure, which he outlines in this interview for “The Bridge of Friendship” blog
Ion Lixandru was born in Bucharest 61 years ago. He has graduated from the High School of Transport. He was a worker at the construction of the channel Danube – Black Sea in 1977 for three months. He comes from the family of heavy truck drivers (for internal and international transport).
(photo: The Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
The executive director of the Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry gave this interview in April 2019 for the Bulgarian television Bloomberg Bulgaria, speaking about the third bridge over the Danube at Svishtov-Zimnicea, about the need for better cross-border connectivity and the successful business cooperation between Bulgaria and Romania
The decision for the construction of the third bridge over the Danube between Bulgaria and Romania at Svishtov-Zimnicea was taken without discussions with the business organisations, which develop the relations between the two countries, such as the Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and industry. This is what the executive director of the chamber Eleonora Ivanova said in an interview for the Bloomberg Bulgaria TV, which is now given to the blog “The Bridge of Friendship”. Furthermore, BRCCI has fighted for the last two years in order to encourage the usage of cheap and effective possibilities for lowering of the traffic at the bridge between Rousse and Giurgiu, through the introduction of a ferryboat. Each bridge over the Danube would contribute to interconnectivity between the two countries, but the need for a new bridge at Rousse-Giurgiu remains dire, says Eleonora Ivanova. That is why when such decisions are taken, they have to be based on the current data and on the experts’ advice.
Dessislava Pencheva (photo: Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
An interview with the expert of the Bulgarian-Romanian chamber of commerce and industry on the results of the project DANTE and on the need for easing of ship navigation on the great European river
Dessislva Pencheva is the administrative manager of the project ”DANTE – improving the administrative procedures and processes related to the Danube waterway transport“. Dessislava Pencheva is part of the team of the Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for around 16 years since its foundation. She speaks Romanian, English and Russian language. She has graduated from the Academy of Economy in Svishtov.
The Serbian president Alexander Vucic, the Romanian PM Viorica Dancila, the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov (photo: YouTube, Romanian government)
The quadrilateral meeting of Romania, Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria in the Romanian resort Snagov and the Romanian-Bulgarian intergovernmental meeting in Bucharest in the end of March 2019 show that the euroatlantic solidarity in the region is slightly forced. Is it possible to have a cooperation, which comes from within?
This article was published on 31 March 2019 on the Bulgarian section of the site ”The Barricade”.
The Bulgarian government with the prime minister Boyko Borissov at its front returned from Bucharest with modest diplomatic achievements. The joint session with the Romanian government led to the signing of one agreement – on cooperation in the domain of extraordinary situations, and two memorandums of understanding – on small and medium enterprises and on easing of ship navigation on the river Danube.
Interview with the coauthor of the book, full of ideas for travelling in Danubian Bulgaria, „From the Balkan to the Danube” – about the tendency of tourism becoming a smart experience, about its potential to connect Romanians and Bulgarians and about the tourist initiatives, which modernize Bulgaria
Gavrail Gavrailov is born in 1979 in Plovdiv. He has BA in Political Science (2002) and MA in “Applied Psychology” (2004) from the University of Plovdiv. Starting from March 2016, he is a PHD student in the department of “Applied and Institutional Sociology” of the University of Plovdiv. His focus of research is “The Social Entrepreneurship in the Rhodopes in the 21st century (2000-2018)”.
He is interested in sociology of local communities, regional development, ecology, rural tourism and development of alternative green communities. He is the author of the books “North-East Bulgaria – a guide for travellers” (2013), “The Rhodopes – searching for the roots” (2014), “The villages in Bulgaria – directions for tourism and culture” (2015). He has worked in advertisement, media, tourism and politics.
Gavrail Gavrailov is the author of the book with ideas on travelling in Danubian Bulgaria “From the Balkan to the Danube”, along with Vessela Nickolaeva – editor-in-chief of the site for tourist travellings in North-West Bulgaria“Severozapazenabg.com” and the tourist guide from Rousse Mihail Mihov. The book overviews interesting facts from the history, about ethnic communities, about the present realities and the innovative tourist initiatives in Danubian Bulgaria. The Barricade talked with Gavrail Gavrailov, trying to understand to what extent tourism could be a source for social change in Bulgaria.
The garden at the center of Rousse is a beautiful place for walk and talk (photo: Rousse Summer Free Tour)
Every Saturday evening the tourist guides offer a walk along the most interesting and beautiful places in the city in an attempt to promote its history and heritage
Starting with 2016 Rousse has its own free tour of the center – The Rousse Summer Free Tour. It will be restarted on 6 May 2017. The organizers of the tour want to bring about the city’s promotion as a tourist destination for travellers, for guests of Rousse from other parts of the country and the world, and to unveil curious historical facts before its own citizens.