Bulgaria May Lose Funding for 1 Year under Rural Development Program

Bulgaria in EU | August 26, 2014, Tuesday // 15:52|  views

Caretaker Agriculture Minister Vasil Grudev, photo by BGNES

Caretaker Agriculture Minister Vasil Grudev has warned that Bulgaria may lose EU funding for one year under the new Rural Development Program.

He informed that the Rural Development Program for Bulgaria would be approved by the EC in 2015 at the earliest, meaning that a year of the new 2014-2020 programming period would be skipped.

Grudev, as cited by the Bulgarian National Radio, noted that direct payments would not be paid out in December as expected.

He made clear that he was to meet EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos on September 4, adding that Bulgaria was expected to fast-track talks on the adoption of the Rural Development Program in the meantime.

Grudev vowed that all ordinances under the program would be developed together with industry representatives and the business sector.

Todor Nikolov, Member of the Board of Bulgarian Association of Traders of Agromachinery - BATA AGRO, announced at the opening of an agricultural expo that the Rural Development Program sent to the European Commission by Bulgaria's previous government was illegitimate because none of the decisions under it had been coordinated within the working group.

"All decisions on spending EU money on agriculture were made by incompetent officials for unknown reasons," Nikolov said.

He claimed that the amount of money earmarked for equipment under the program was so small that it did not allow Bulgarian farmers to renew their equipment, taking into account that a large number of tractors and harvesters were outdated.

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Tags: Vasil Grudev, caretaker government, Rural Development Program, programing period, EU funding


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