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The Bulgaria-Romania cross-border region is accessible thanks to the navigable Danube River, part of the 7th Pan-European Transport Corridor, which connects the port of Constanta with the industrial centers in Western Europe and the port of Rotterdam via the Black Sea Canal. In turn, it is crossed by two TEN-T corridors connecting Central and Northern Europe with the southeastern part of the continent and the Middle East. The Danube River, on the other hand, is a dense border between the two countries due to the lack of natural infrastructure for crossing the river, which hinders cross-border cooperation and socio-economic integration of the territory.

Inland ports facilitate the combination of modes of transport – inland waterways, roads and railways operating as multimodal logistics chains. Rail and road transport act as partners for water transport for the transfer of goods and passengers before and after ports acting as the main interface. Over the last few decades, the ports of the Danube have undergone a significant transformation from conventional inland ports to modern logistics centers. In addition to their main function as transhipment centers and storage sites, today ports offer a wide range of logistics services, including commissioning, distribution and logistics of projects. Due to the fact that they serve as production sites as well as centers for the collection and distribution of goods, they are extremely well integrated into regional economies and contribute significantly to economic growth and job creation. The three most important port areas in terms of Danube congestion are Izmail (Ukraine), Linz (Austria) and Galati (Romania). The port of Constanta in Romania occupies a special place. It is connected to the Danube through the Danube-Black Sea canal and plays an important role as a cargo portal to the Black Sea, thus facilitating trade with Asia, the Middle East and the Black Sea region (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Accessibility and connectivity of the cross-border region Bulgaria-Romania

The total length of the roads in the cooperation area is 16,511 km, including the regional and municipal roads. The total density of public roads is 22.95 km / 100 sq. Km, which is very low compared to the EU25 average of 110 km / 100 sq. Km. The density of roads along the Danube is far below the national level. The secondary and tertiary network is lagging along the entire area and is poorly maintained, taking into account the high risk of accidents. In addition, certain roads are prone to flooding, to a greater extent those on the Romanian side of the Danube. Many roads have insufficient capacity, which leads to congestion and, accordingly, increases travel time, vehicle operating costs, accidents and environmental damage.

The density of the functioning railway network is approximately 46.1 km per 1000 sq. Km in Romania and 38.9 km per 1000 sq. Km in Bulgaria, which is below the average of the EU countries (65 km / 1000 sq. Km), which puts them in the last two places among the networks in the European Union. The main railway link between Romania and Bulgaria crosses the Danube River on the Giurgiu-Ruse bridge, and the other railway line between Negru Voda and Kardam reports reduced traffic (freight and passenger trains only).

The analysis of the quality of road and railway infrastructure and transport services in both countries shows that they are further back in the European ranking, although land transport has the largest share in both Romania and Bulgaria.

The region is served by 4 international airports in Romania: Constanta (important during the summer season when receiving flights from Paris, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, Bergamo, Pisa, etc.), Craiova (flights from London, Cologne / Bonn, Bergamo). etc.), “Bucharest-Otopeni” and “Aurel Vlaiku”, located closest to the border. In Bulgaria, the nearest airports are in Sofia and Varna, but a large part of the population in the Bulgarian border area often uses the airport in Bucharest on a regular basis.

The available transport network does not provide good connectivity between the two countries, nor easy access of the border areas to the TEN-T corridors and the main national corridors. In fact, only one Bucharest-Constanta motorway (220 km) passes through the cross-border area. This hinders the development of intermodal hubs, which are vital for exploiting the Danube’s shipping potential and for the economic development of the region.

1.1.1. Border infrastructure between Bulgaria and Romania

The border between the two countries is 610 km long, of which 470 km is the water border on the Danube. The border between Romania and Bulgaria is located between Pristol (Mehedinti County, Romania) to the west and (Constanta County, Romania) to the east, at a distance of 631.3 km.

The river border is the inland waterway along the section of the Danube River with a length of 470 km (from kilometer 845,650 to kilometer 374,100), bounded between the right bank of the river and the demarcation line of the border between Bulgaria and Romania, determined in accordance with the Convention Bulgaria and Romania since 1908. The border is between the cities of Vidin (Bulgaria) and Silistra (Bulgaria), respectively Calafat and Calarasi (Romania). The Danube River creates great opportunities for the development of water transport. It is the largest international river route through which Bulgaria connects with the countries of Western and Eastern Europe. This creates conditions for lively trade relations with these countries, great opportunities for tourism, as well as for other economic activities. The important corridor for economic development Bucharest-Giurgiu-Ruse-Veliko Tarnovo is located in the studied region, which should be utilized. There are also pairs of cities on both sides of the Danube: Vidin – Calafat, Beket – Oryahovo, Turnu Magurele – Nikopol, Calarasi – Silistra, which can significantly contribute through their cooperation to achieve regional development goals, following the established example of cooperation between Giurgiu and Ruse. Additional benefits for the region can also be derived from its cultural and territorial diversity. The Bulgaria-Romania cross-border region is accessible mainly through the navigable Danube River, part of the 7th Pan-European Transport Corridor, which connects the port of Constanta with the industrial centers in Western Europe and the port of Rotterdam via the Black Sea Canal. In turn, it is crossed by two TEN-T corridors connecting Central and Northern Europe with the southeastern part of the continent and the Middle East. The Danube River, on the other hand, is a dense border between the two countries, Bulgaria and Romania, due to underdeveloped infrastructure for crossing the river, which hinders cross-border cooperation and socio-economic integration of the territory.

The land border is 139.1 km long, passing through Dobrudja, between Calarasi – Silistra and the Black Sea, separates the district of Constanta (Romania) from the districts of Silistra and Dobrich (Bulgaria) between the Danube and the Black Sea. It starts from the town of Silistra and ends at the Romanian village of Vama Veke, located on the Black Sea coast. The flat relief of Dobrogea allows the construction of roads and railways. This border is crossed by the railway line “Razdelna – Kardam – Medjidia – Ungeni” / the shortest road between Bulgaria and the CIS / and the highway “Istanbul – Bourgas – Varna – Constanta”. A power pipeline from Ukraine and a gas pipeline from Russia pass here.

The sea border is 22.2 km long, covers a strip of coastal water with a width of 20 km. The development of the sea border is also associated with a number of problems. In the first place, this is the severe ecological condition of the Black Sea, caused by the great rivers Danube, Dnieper, Dniester and others. Coastal wastewater also plays a significant role in pollution. Due to the limited self-cleaning capacity of the sea, the fish wealth has greatly decreased, and the changes in the biocenosis are of alarming proportions. In addition, the transport connections in the Bulgarian part with the interior of the region are insufficient, which leads to insufficient use of the coastal lands.

1.1.2. Infrastructures for crossing the border between Bulgaria and Romania

There are three types of border crossing infrastructures: river, land and air (Table 1).

A serious barrier to cooperation is the absence of border crossing points. Along this 470 km of the Danube there are two land bridges, one of which is railway, and most of the crossing points are by ferry.

Table 1. Infrastructure sites for crossing the border between Bulgaria and Romania


Type of transport

Vidin – Calafat

Bridge (automobile)

Lom – Rast


Oryahovo – Beket


Nikopol/Somovit – Turnu Magurele


Svishtov – Zimnich


Ruse – Giurgiu

Bridge (road and rail)

Tutrakan – Oletnitsa


Silistra – Kalarash


Kardam – Negru Voda

The land crossing points are located along the Black Sea coast

Durankulak – Vama Veke, as well as south of the Danube, between Silistra and Ostrov.

Constantsa, Mihail Cogalchanu International Airport

Air transport

Crayova, international airport

Air transport

Gorna Oryahovitsa, international airport

Air transport

Ruse, municipal airport

Air transport

Apart from the four international airports on the Romanian side, Tuzla Airport in Constanta County is a good prospect for regional development. There is potential for development in both airports operating in the Bulgarian part of the cross-border region – Gorna Oryahovitsa and Ruse.

Data related to passenger traffic and the frequency of crossing checkpoints report moderate levels, with less than 61% of those crossing the border being of Romanian or Bulgarian origin. The exceptions are the Ruse-Giurgiu Bridge and the Vidin-Calafat Bridge over the Danube, which are the most used points for crossing the border by Romanian, Bulgarian and international traffic.

During the pre-accession period, improvements were made to the border crossing facilities with the support of the PHARE CBC Fund (1999-2004). Rehabilitation of the railway infrastructure and activities related to the safety of the infrastructure of the Giurgiu-Ruse bridge have been carried out. Two mirror projects have been implemented on both sides of the border to improve connectivity through ferry connections and the border crossings Nikopol (Bulgaria) – Turnu Magurele (Romania) and Silistra (Bulgaria) – Calarasi (Romania).

Although the Danube has the function of a major artery of the European transport system, it is less important than expected in the economy and in transport in the cross-border region. Currently, only 10-15% of its transport capacity is used. Important for the development of the river transport axis “Rhine / Maas – Maine – Danube” (Priority axis TEN-T), which is the main route for the transport of goods connecting the port of “Rotterdam” from the North Sea with the Black Sea (especially Constanta and Bulgarian ports ), as well as river ports located on the inland waterway.

The main problem is the capacity of the border checkpoints between Bulgaria and Romania, especially at the Danube bridge “Ruse-Giurgiu”, most often for outgoing and incoming traffic from and to the Republic of Bulgaria, and not infrequently passenger cars. According to a file of the Bulgarian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BRCI), it is necessary to take measures to expand the border checkpoint near Ruse and to open a new checkpoint on the Bulgarian side of the bridge. There are opportunities that need to be analyzed for the opening of new ferry lines, which could partially take the traffic from the Danube bridge near Ruse – Giurgiu. The BCCI has information on the existing interest and readiness of investors, but coordination is needed to explore opportunities and organize checkpoints.

The Ruse-Giurgiu Danube Bridge (for rail and road transport) was built almost 60 years ago and provides the connection with the countries of Western, Central and Eastern Europe, Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. The traffic of railway and road transport is extremely intensive.

As a result of the long-term operation, the road infrastructure directly in the area of ​​the Danube Bridge border checkpoint is in extremely poor condition and needs both repair and complete reorganization of traffic, aestheticization of the surrounding areas, construction of parking lots, installation of horizontal and vertical marking and signaling. The bridge itself is in dire need of major repairs to the road and modernization of lighting.

Giurgiu County has a system of public roads formed by state (national) roads – 310 km, county roads – 538 km, municipal roads – 336 km, respectively 34 bridges along the routes of district roads (2,210 m long) and 20 bridges. along the routes of municipal roads (1,054.81 m).

The road infrastructure of the county consists of:

  • DN5 (E70, E85) (Bucharest – Giurgiu Customs – Bulgaria);
  • DN6 (Bucharest – Alexandria – Craiova – Timisoara);
  • E81 (A1: Bucharest – Pitesti);
  • DN5B (Giurgiu – Gimpac);
  • DN61 (Gajesti – Gimpac);
  • DN5C (Giurgiu – Zimnic);
  • DN41 (Giurgiu – Plopshor – Oltenitsa);
  • DN5A / DN5 (Adunaci Kopachen – Gradishta – Mironesht – Hotarele);
  • DN41 (Gryaka).

Proximity to Bucharest provides quick access to Otopen and Benyasa Airports. The length of the railway lines that cross the district is 47 km, and the electrified part of the railway line is 24 km long, providing the connection of Teleorman (Videle) with Bucharest and Ruse.

The most important public roads that cross Giurgiu County and connect the most important points of the state and European roads are presented in Table 7.

Table 7. Important public transport roads passing through Giurgiu County




Sector length


E70 (DN6)


Prunaru – Mihăilești

32.3 km


E85 (DN5)


Border Romania-Bulgaria (Giurgiu-Ruse) – Adunaţi – Copăceni (Argeș River)

47.7 km




Giurgiu – Pietrișu

35 km




Ghimpați – Giurgiu

40 km




Plopșoru – Hotarele

42.1 km




Adunaţi – Copăceni – Hotarele

34 km




Gogoșari – Hodivoaia – Giurgiu

34.1 km




Gogoșari – Vieru – Giurgiu

31.8 km




Stănești – Giurgiu

9.2 km




Izvoarele – Stănești

15.2 km




Gostinu – Giurgiu

19 km




Mihai Bravu – Băneasa

11.4 km




Pădurea Blaj – Cornu

8.1 km




Călugăreni – Hotarele

30 km


According to existing studies, the road network and bridges in Giurgiu County need modernization, repairs and rehabilitation as follows:

  • District roads: modernization – 136.62 km, repair and rehabilitation – 133.863 km;
  • Municipal roads: modernization – 130,761 km, repair and rehabilitation – 55,686 km;
  • Out of a total of 846,315 km of district and municipal roads, 267,381 km are in need of modernization, and 189,549 km are in need of repairs and rehabilitation.
  • Of the 34 bridges in the county, 11 are in need of major repairs;
  • The technical condition of DN5A is unsuitable for taking on transport flows;
  • The railway bridge over the Arges River was badly damaged by the destruction of safety facilities in a 2008 accident.

In Giurgiu County as of 31.12.2017 79.39% of the network of public roads has been modernized – 940 km, and the network of county and municipal roads has been modernized to 73.11% of the total length (639 km). The district and municipal roads have light road surfaces at 73 km (according to the latest official information from 2015), 86 km of gravel. and on the ground are 30 km. (information from NSI, Romania as of 31.12.2017)

In Giurgiu County, public transport services are provided only in Giurgiu Municipality, and for the other 6 counties in the Southern Muntenia region, public transport is represented by 18 urban systems (UAT).

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