30 March 2013
The Seventh Conference on Strategic Infrastructure was held on the 29th March at the Sheraton Hotel Sofia. New Balkans attended the event, and this article offers a synopsis of the event and highlights the main legal developments that will affect the sector in the coming year.
The Conference opened with a speech from the President of Bulgaria, Mr Plevneliev, and consisted of seven panels which covered:
Overall, the picture painted of Bulgarian Infrastructure was an overwhelmingly positive one: for example, the Road Infrastructure panel focused on 260 km of highway currently under construction. By the end of 2020, an additional 460 of strategic roads are to be finalised. With regards to railway infrastructure, projects to be concluded by 2020 include the modernisation the following railways: Sofia – Plovdiv; Plovdiv – Burgas; Sofia station and Sofia intermodal terminal and Ruse intermodal terminal; the rehabilitation of Ruse- Varna and Mezdra – Gorna Oriahovica; the modernisation of Ruse – Dimitrovgrad and the overall modernisation of railway stations.
An important and persistently occurring theme throughout the conference was a shift towards using public-private partnerships as a means to raise necessary funds in all spheres. At present, the PPP draft legislation in Bulgaria is in Parliament for consideration, but it is predicted that it will come into force by the end of 2012.
The introduction of the new legislation presents a good opportunity for private companies in the sector.
For a detailed analysis of Infrastructure legislation and information on the legal services we offer, please consult our NBLO Infrastructure Note.
Acting as a Bulgarian law expert in the context of a FIDIC Dispute Adjudication Board
NBLO acted as Bulgarian law experts to a Dispute Adjudication Board constituted under the terms of a FIDIC modelled construction works agreement between the Bulgarian government and a continental Europe-based general contractor. Advised in detail and in successive iterations in relation to the Bulgarian law questions raised by the DAB at the summary of issues stage as well as at the reply and comments stages. Of particular importance to the DAB was the ability of NBLO lawyers to advise on the distinctions between Bulgarian law principles and proximate English and Swiss law concepts in the law of contract as well as to advise on the direct effect and direct applicability of certain European Commission legislation as a matter of Bulgarian law.
© New Balkans Law Office 2017