The Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union began in January 2018, a decade after the accession of the country to the EU, and will be running for 6 months until June 2018. The presidency is under Bulgaria’s national motto – “United We Stand”, which reflects the core values of cooperation of the European Union. The honour of the EU presidency also brought the great responsibility to highlight important issues for the Union. Bulgaria is focusing on several priorities – The Future of Europe and young people, Western Balkans, Security and stability, and The Digital economy. These issues resonate within the context of the maritime industry and the development of strong European ship supply sector.
The Bulgarian Ship Suppliers Association is the only non-government organization in Bulgaria that unites and protects the interest of Bulgarian ship supply companies. The Association was established in 1995 and since then it has been actively working towards assisting and supporting its members, improving the business environment for conducting ship supply activity in Bulgaria, enhancing the image of Bulgarian ship suppliers, representing its members’ interests before state authorities and institutions, ship-owners and other organizations on any topics related to ship supply, etc.
The Association is regularly engaged in taking position and drafting proposals on issues, concerning changes in legislation and regulations, which affect the ship supply sector. The Bulgarian Ship Suppliers association cooperates with major international organizations such as The International Ship Suppliers Association (ISSA), The European Ship Suppliers Organization (OCEAN) and The International Marine Purchasers Association (IMPA). On a national level the Association is a member of the Bulgarian Maritime Chamber and the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (KRIB) – the most influential organization in Bulgaria.
Currently, members of the Association are 14 Bulgarian ship supply companies. With clear vision and high level of professionalism they shape the face of Bulgarian ship supply sector. Bulgaria is extremely well-positioned as a point for ship supply in the Black Sea. It favours from unique combination of European quality and low price levels, stable and reliable ship supply sector, and convenient location as a connecting point between Europe and Asia. Along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast are located the commercial ports of Varna and Burgas, passenger terminals for cruise vessels, and several smaller ports. River transportation along the Danube River is also well-developed. Bulgaria’s membership in the EU has brought a positive effect for Bulgarian ship supply companies. It facilitated them to expand their ship supply operations to near-by Romania and to deliver to vessels in Romanian ports and ship yards. Now this is integral part of the activity of Bulgarian ship supply companies.
For the future, the Bulgarian Ship Suppliers Association is looking forward towards continuing the good cooperation with international organizations and hopes to make it a tradition to host maritime events in Bulgaria.