Mobile Experts to Help Bulgarian Municipalities with EU Projects

Bulgaria in EU | October 9, 2012, Tuesday // 15:22|  views

Bulgaria's EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev said Tuesday that the 10-strong expert mobile unit would start assisting municipal and district administrations with EU project management in November. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev announced Tuesday that a mobile unit of ten experts would start touring the country in November to help local authorities with the implementation of EU projects.

The measure was presented at a press conference organized to report the results of a completed project for the training of district and municipal administration officials.

Donchev put forth the idea for the creation of a mobile expert unit back in the beginning of 2011 in a bid to fast-track EU funds absorption.

The group will consist of legal experts, economists, and engineers with previous experience in the sphere of EU projects.

The specialists will offer advice to municipalities; they will come up with stances and recommendations on various issues and cases related to managing EU-funded projects.

The activity of the mobile expert unit is also be financed with EU funds under the Technical Assistance Operational Program and its budget amounts to nearly BGN 700 000.

The beneficiaries will have to book a consultation with the mobile team in advance.

Bookings will be reviewed every two weeks and the experts will select priority cases of all applications.

The experts will give priority to municipalities experiencing problems with managing projects financed under Operational Programs Regional Development and Environment.

A sum of over BGN 1.9 M under the Technical Assistance OP was already used for the EU project management training of around 4000 officials of municipal and district administrations.

During the training, the administrative officials most often complained of the complicated and non-uniform application procedures, the slow assessment of project proposals, the lack of working capital to co-finance project activities, the delayed payments to beneficiaries, and the insufficient administrative capacity of the administrative bodies in charge of managing EU money and of the beneficiaries.

Administrative officials will be offered new trainings which they have asked to include discussions on irregularities in project management, the development of terms of reference, the approach to evaluating bids in public procurements, the future of the Cohesion Policy, risk assessment, strategic planning, etc.

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Tags: Tomislav Donchev, EU Funds Minister, operational program, local authorities, municipal administration, public procurement


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