The Integrated Territorial Development Strategy (ITSR) of the South-West Region (SZR) was approved at an online meeting of the Regional Development Council.
The Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Desislava Georgieva congratulated the council members for their active participation in the process of preparing the main document for the development of the region until 2027.
"The different points of view of many interested parties have been taken into account and summarized in order to obtain a focused document with the most important priorities," said Deputy Minister Georgieva and thanked all those involved in this endeavour. This strategic document "unlocks" funding in the field of regional development during the programming period 2021-2027, and therefore its approval is of utmost importance.
The vision for the region laid down in the Integrated Territorial Strategy is related to the development of the potential of the territories in the districts of Blagoevgrad, Kyustendil, Pernik, Sofia and Sofia - Capital Municipality and the 52 municipalities in them, in order to reach the developed European regions.
"In view of this variety of municipalities - small and rural, large cities, the expectations for the South-West region are high, including the implementation of various types of partnerships and projects in cooperation", added Ivaylo Stoyanov, head of the "Strategic Planning and Programming" department.
The selected strategic priorities include supporting regional potentials for sustainable growth, investing in human capital and overcoming regional imbalances, as well as better connectivity.
"Achieving these goals will require approximately BGN 1.5 billion, which can be secured by attracting various financial instruments and funds under the 2021-2027 Regional Development Program," added Ivaylo Stoyanov.
Deputy Minister Georgieva also specified that the strategy allows for financing from many different sources, which represents an additional opportunity for the implementation of the projects.
The Chairman of the Regional Development Council Petar Paunov - Mayor of Kyustendil municipality, pointed out that the developed strategy contains indicative projects, setting only the general framework for the development of the region, which allows for its flexible implementation.
The final step for all projects of integrated territorial development strategies is their submission for consideration and approval by the Council of Ministers.