"We believe that investments in public infrastructure contribute the most to the development of our cities. Our main task is to ensure their long-lasting sustainable development. In recent years, Sofia catches up with decades of underdevelopment and at the same time, we work actively to enable the city to engage in the implementation of the new EU policies. This is possible thanks to the European solidarity, the Cohesion Policy of the European Union and the good cooperation we have with the other European capitals", said the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova in her speech during a discussion within the Seventh Annual Conference of the Mayors of the Capital Cities of the European Union on the importance of public investment for local authorities.
The Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen and the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu attended the international forum.
Fandakova thanked the mayors of European capitals that help Sofia to develop faster. Recently, Sofia cooperates with Vienna, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Ljubljana and Zagreb.
According to Yordanka Fandakova: "Our main task is to ensure the long-lasting sustainable development of the cities. In Sofia we achieve this by investment in combating climate change and improving the cleanliness of the ambient air, as well as in the development of urban mobility, waste management, energy efficiency of buildings, reconstruction, recovery and construction of pedestrian areas and city parks.”
“We are also actively involved in social inclusion and development of education - a topic that is of particular importance to me”, said the mayor of Sofia.
"We have to plan for the long term and we support all the colleagues who are working for the quicker adoption of the financial framework for the next programming period", said Fandakova.
"During the previous programming period, in Sofia, we managed to implement about 90 projects and for the 2014-2020 period we have 41 approved projects and very clear plans. Adopting the financial framework is important for governments to prepare the national operational programs", said Fandakova.
Fandakova gave Sofia subway and the waste management system as examples of significant investments that changed the city.
Over the past 10 years we built about 30 km of the subway and currently we are building another 12, said Fandakova. I expect this to contribute to reducing emissions by about 90,000 tons per year and the traffic by 10-20%. For the next programming period we have plans to develop the subway to Levski G and Slatina neighbourhoods, informed the Mayor of Sofia.
Thanks to public investment, we managed to build a new, modern waste processing and management system. Under the operational programs of this period, we expect to implement the third phase of this system by building a plant in TPP Sofia.
As a result of the projects for waste management in Sofia, 84% of household waste is recovered and recycled and only 16% is landfilled, while only 10 years ago 100% was landfilled. The project for the third phase is very important, because it will reduce landfilling to 10%, said Mayor Fandakova.
Public investment in education is also important, highlighted Fandakova. Sofia is the leader in attracting educated people and foreign investments, especially in the IT sector, where many young and highly educated people realize their dreams. Information technologies are among the fastest growing industries, forming 5.7% of the Sofia economy.
Mayor Fandakova made a proposal Sofia to host one of the next meetings of EU Mayors.
During the meeting, Fandakova held talks with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, the European Commissioner, Corina Creţu and the mayors of Amsterdam and Vienna - Femke Halsema and Michael Ludwig.
Photos from the forum and meetings of Mayor Yordanka Fandakova with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, European Commissioner, Corina Creţu, the Mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema and of Vienna, Michael Ludwig.