Bulgaria Unlikely to See EU Environment Funds Unblocked before October

Bulgaria in EU | August 26, 2014, Tuesday // 21:09|  views

Svetlana Zhekova, Bulgaria's caretaker Minister of Environment Minister and Water, photo by BGNES

Payments under the "Environment" Operational Program will not be unblocked before October, according to Svetlana Zhekova, Bulgaria's caretaker Environment Minister.

Zhekova, as cited by the Bulgarian National Radio, informed Tuesday that Bulgarian authorities were in talks with the European Commission on the new programming period.

"We received the notes of the EC less than a week ago and they are being analyzed by experts," she said, adding that an official stance was to be available by end-September to be sent to the EC so that Bulgaria could negotiate the funding for the new period.

Bulgaria was imposed an EU funds freeze amounting to over EUR 900 M under the "Environment" Operational Program in November 2013 due to flawed public procurement procedures.

Zhekova has cited the unblocking of EU funding under the "Environment" Operational Program for 2007-2013, as well as the approval of the budget and priority axes of the program for the 2014-2020 programming period, as the top priorities of the Ministry of Environment and Water.

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Tags: Svetlana Zhekova, caretaker government, Operational Program Environment, EU funds freeze, programming period


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