Bulgaria has experienced a significant migratory issue along its 259 km border with Turkey for several years. According to the Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the country prevented 170,000 illegal migrants from entering Bulgaria borders in 2022, up from 7,000 just three years earlier. So far in 2023, migration pressure has increased 43% year-on-year in the first quarter.

The President of the European Commission said in March 2023 that reinforcing the Bulgarian-Turkish border is a priority for combatting illegal migration. The European Commission stated that additional support is required at the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Consequently, the EU will direct $653 million (600 million euros) to strengthen Bulgaria’s border with Turkey.

The funds will be spent on the procurement of technical equipment, video surveillance cameras, sensors and motor vehicles.  In addition, the European Commission announced the initiation of a pilot border-control project with Bulgaria aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of migratory flow management at one of the EU’s external borders. Bulgaria’s caretaker government will propose investing $17.8 million to support the Ministries of Interior and Defense in response to increased migrant arrivals. The tenders for those projects will be published on the respective sites of the Ministries.

The projects for strengthening the Bulgarian-Turkish Border will open new opportunities for U.S. companies with expertise in security systems, video surveillance and suitable vehicles for border police.

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