Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds

A Project to Monitor - Green Mobility - a pilot scheme to support sustainable urban mobility

Organisation: Economic Policy Institute Website: Added: September 23, 2022
Project start date: April 01, 2022
Project end date: September 30, 2024



Mobility in modern societies has a major impact on our everyday life: it determines how people, economies, and countries interact. A large proportion of Europe's citizens live in urban environments, with over 60% living in urban areas with more than 10 000 inhabitants. Urban mobility is vital for European cities and contributes significantly to their prosperity. Urban areas are the engine for economic growth, employment and competitiveness, being major generators of knowledge and innovation. However, many Bulgarian cities are increasingly facing the adverse effects caused by transport and related traffic. Together, these problems not only generate high costs, but also progressively reduce the quality of life and negatively affect general well-being. Based on the above, the Green Mobility project under Bulgaria’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, namely Project 25, is being developed to address key challenges related to sustainable mobility in the context of European and national policies in the field. The aim of the project is to contribute to the full deployment of conceptual policies that support urban growth and sustainability through the implementation of integrated sustainable urban mobility measures. The project is intended to take the form of a pilot scheme that aims to encourage the formation of partnerships to implement measures in line with the sustainable urban mobility plans, thereby facilitating the preparation and implementation of similar projects to be funded by the Operational Programme Development of Regions 2021-2027. Eligible beneficiaries of the individual project proposals that are to be supported under the proposed pilot scheme will be partnerships of urban municipalities and public transport operators (including inter-municipal ones) operating in the territory concerned. The partnerships are open to 40 urban municipalities from the six NUT 2 planning regions with more than 15 000 inhabitants (Vratsa, Lovech, Lom, Montana, Troyan, Gabrovo, Gorna Oryahovitsa, Sevlievo, Razgrad, Svishtov, Silistra, Dobrich, Targovishte, Shumen, Sliven, Yambol, Nova Zagora, Aitos, Karnobat, Kazanlak, Svilengrad, Harmanli, Dimitrovgrad, Kardzhali, Haskovo, Asenovgrad, Velingrad, Smolyan, Pazardzhik, Peshtera, Panagyurishte, Karlovo, Botevgrad, Gotse Delchev, Dupnitsa, Kyustendil, Pernik, Petrich, Samokov, Sandanski).

Good Practices and Innovations

The Green Mobility Project will encompass four key actions: Action 1: Integrate zero-emission public transport vehicles into the urban transport system. The aim of this activity is to supply 68 zero-emission vehicles (buses and/or trolleybuses) for urban and inter-urban public transport. Action 2: Implementation of accompanying integrated measures to provide charging stations for public transport vehicles. The aim of this activity is to establish the construction of charging stations serving public transport vehicles. Action 3: Implementation of infrastructure measures for safe urban mobility targeting vulnerable road users - pedestrians and cyclists. This action targets the establishment of facilities; the construction of bicycle infrastructure - 110 km; the implementation of traffic reduction measures at the entrances of settlements - speed reduction through markings, pavement with different color texture, road signs, narrowing of the traffic lane, construction of a split island and a combination of these in 15 municipalities. Activity 4: Develop/update traffic organization master plans. The implementation of the above activities will be carried out through a pilot scheme to support integrated project proposals, which is based on the following framework mechanism: Selection criteria will include: - The expected impact of the project: number of people who have benefited, contribution to the scheme indicators; - The number of municipalities involved in the partnership; - The need to implement the measures envisaged. - The consistency with the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans; - The capacity for implementation; - The project readiness: availability of an up-to-date feasibility study identifying the need for rolling stock renewal or charging stations; - The state of road safety in cities in the context of infrastructure for the protection of vulnerable road users, as determined following surveys and analysis, which will serve as a basis for the identification of investment needs in specific cities by the State Agency for Road Safety.

Implementation Timeline

The preparation and implementation of the pilot scheme will have a maximum duration of 30 months. The project implementation phases can be summarised as follows: 1/ Development and publication of Guidelines for individual project proposals: 2 months. 2/ Formation of partnerships and preparation of project proposals, including preparation and updating of feasibility studies: up to 9 months. 3/ Evaluation of individual project proposals under the scheme and conclusion of grant agreements with beneficiaries: 4 months. 4/ Preparation and procurement under the Public Procurement Act for individual project proposals: up to 12 months (procurement for at least 70% of the funds should be completed within 9 months). 5/ Implementation of procurement contracts for individual project proposals: up to 15 months.

Result indicators

 - New vehicles (buses/trolleybuses) - target value: 68 pcs. - Charging stations for public transport - target value: 27 pcs. - Smart digital solutions for urban transport - target value: 10 municipalities - Implemented infrastructure measures for safe urban mobility targeting vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists: 5 pedestrian overpasses; 170 illuminated pedestrian crossings; bicycle infrastructure - 110 km; implemented traffic reduction measures at the entrances of settlements - speed reduction through markings, pavements with different colors, textures, illuminated and duplicated road signs, narrowing of the traffic lane, construction of a split island and a combination of measures - implemented measures in 15 municipalities. - Developed/updated traffic organisation master plans: 5 pcs in 5 municipalities.

Effect indicators

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (tonnes of CO2 equivalent) - target: 4 179. Population benefiting from integrated projects (number of persons) for which mobility will be improved in terms of functionality and safety - target value: 1 445 434. Number of conflict points of transport flows to be eliminated - target value: 300. Number of cities that will have a conceptual planning basis for a comprehensive traffic organisation - target value: 5.

Financial data

The indicative financial resource for the scheme is EUR 51.13 million, of which EUR 49.575 million are European funding (grant) under the Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism and EUR 1.56 million are funds from the national budget to cover non-recoverable VAT for the beneficiaries. Nearly 78% of the total financial resources foreseen for the implementation of the pilot scheme are earmarked for the purchase of buses/trolleybuses and charging stations. 10% of the total financial resources for the implementation of the pilot scheme are dedicated to infrastructure measures for safe urban mobility targeting vulnerable road users - pedestrians and cyclists, and the development/updating of the urban traffic organisation master plans. The budget will be allocated according to the investment needs identified per city. The remainder of the funds is foreseen to cover project preparation costs (including feasibility studies and other project documentation) as well as management costs and publicity and information measures. The value is set as a specific flat rate percentage of exactly 2% based on procedures already implemented with similar activities. The allocation of financial resources for each individual project supported under the framework scheme will depend on the specific type of activities foreseen in the project concerned.


Project 25 will be mostly financed by EU funding under Bulgaria’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, as indicated above. The implementation of the project is thus largely dependent on achieving the necessary milestones and targets under the RRP. The latter is already delayed due to the non-meeting of certain milestones and targets. In addition, the administrative capacity might not be sufficient in order to implement on time the already delayed project activities. Therefore, we recommend that certain monitoring and flexibility measures are adopted in the process of implementing Project 25. The latter might include inter-institutional and inter-administrative cooperation measures, reevaluation of deadlines, and even search for outsourcing support in relation to certain activities when appropriate.

Information sources

Other info

European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.