Bulgaria to Be Ready with Next EU Funding Period Paperwork by 2013 - Minister

Bulgaria in EU | January 30, 2012, Monday // 15:03|  views

EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev has said that Bulgaria will apply a sector-based approach in the preparation of documents on the next programming period. Photo by BGNES

EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev has said that Bulgaria should be ready with the agreements and the texts on the Operational Programs in the next programming period, 2014-2020, by mid-2013.

Speaking at a conference on Monday, he specified that the most difficult task was striking a balance between the different types of investments that had to be made.

The EU Funds Minister explained that Bulgaria would apply a sector-based approach, rather than an area-based approach, for the future programming period.

"Bulgaria will receive 100 units of funding under the Cohesion Fund (CF) in the next programming period. According to the currently proposed system, 30 of these 100 units will be made available for investments in the heavy infrastructure segment, including railways, roads and the water supply and sewerage sector. 25 units of funding will be received under the European Social Fund (ESF) and will be allocated to social inclusion, education, professional training and boosting the efficiency of the administration," Donchev stated.

He further noted that the remaining financial resources, or around 22 units of funding, would be received under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and would be earmarked for the development of a low-carbon economy, for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and research and development (R&D) activities.

Anelia Damianova from the Center for Economic Development presented data on the evaluation of the competitive power of Bulgaria's business sector.

She underscored that Bulgaria was one of the few European countries to boost the grade from 4% in 2006 to 4.23% in 2011.

Citing the report on the competitive advantages and disadvantages of Bulgarian economy presented at the World Economic Forum (WEF), she pointed out that Bulgaria had many positive features, but the cons outnumbered the pros.

Among the advantages she listed Bulgaria's macroeconomic stability, the favorable tax policy, the openness of the economy, the participation of Bulgarian companies in international chains of production, and the increasing awareness of businesses of the necessity of implementing innovative solutions.

Damianova listed as disadvantages the poor quality of infrastructure, the low efficiency of Bulgarian institutions, the deteriorating quality of the workforce, the existing corrupt practices and the lack of clearly formulated goals and strategies on a company level.

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Tags: EU Funds Minister, Tomislav Donchev, cohesion policy, European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, railways, roads, water supply, social inclusion, administration, operational programs


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