European Commission Restarts Payments to Bulgaria under Regional Development OP

Bulgaria in EU | February 23, 2015, Monday // 14:22|  views

Photo by EPA/BGNES

The European Commission has notified Bulgaria that payments under operational program Regional Development 2007-2013 can now restart.

The payments were temporarily suspended so as to guarantee the efficiency of control systems.

Bulgarian authorities have received an official letter about the move, according to the EC press office.

The European Commission will proceed without delay with the first payment of EUR 52 M under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Payments claims received in February for over EUR 92 M are to be paid out in March.

Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Budget and Human Resources, suggested that the restart of payments testified to the good performance of the Bulgarian authorities.

She claimed that Bulgaria’s government had to make up for lost time and make full use of as big a share as possible of the remaining funding under the program.

Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu said: "This is excellent news and I welcome the efforts made by the Bulgarian authorities to strengthen the management and control system of the program. The positive steps that Bulgaria took in this direction allow the Commission to restart payments, for the direct benefit of the Bulgarian people and of the national economy."

Bulgaria has its payments under operational program Regional Development suspended on June 3, 2014 over irregularities identified in an audit of the European Commission conducted in April 2014.

The EU funds freeze involved two priority axes, including one concerning sustainable and integrated urban development and one related to the sustainable development of tourism.

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Tags: European Commission, regional development program, Operational Program Regional Development, programming period, 2007-2013, EU funds freeze, Kristalina Georgieva


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