Ursula von der Leyen is coming to BulgariaEU | April 1, 2022, Friday // 16:12| views
Kiril Petkov and Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels @Council of Ministers
At the invitation of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen will pay a visit to Sofia on April 8. During her visit to Bulgaria, she will personally present the EC's assessment of the Bulgarian Recovery and Sustainability Plan (RSP) and its compliance with European requirements.
During her visit, the President of the European Commission will hold a meeting with the Prime Minister, after which the two leaders will give a joint press conference. The program also envisages Petkov and Von der Layen to visit projects whose implementation is related to the Recovery Plan.
The plan was submitted on October 15, 2021. As part of the assessment, the EC stressed the need for changes in areas such as energy, rule of law and transport in order to comply with European requirements. As a result of the work of Prime Minister Petkov and the government, the necessary changes were made and the plan was finalized, according to the government's press service.
The plan includes more than 100 investments and reforms that will not only boost economic growth but also help the Bulgarian economy prepare for current and future challenges.
One of the major changes in the plan made by Prime Minister Petkov's government in the field of energy is the abolition of the project to build a very large steam and gas plant. This would increase Bulgaria's energy dependence on imported raw materials. The project has been replaced by measures to accelerate the construction of new low-cost renewables, the storage of low-cost energy to be used during peak hours, and the full use of coal capacity when needed.
According to other measures agreed by the cabinet in the plan, the business environment will be significantly improved by strengthening the accountability of the Prosecutor General, by providing digital administrative services and improving transparency and competition in public procurement. The business will be supported by grant funding, financial instruments and support for industrial parks.
Significant investments in infrastructure will directly improve the lives of Bulgarian citizens. The changes in the plan made by the government envisage the development of modern, high-speed and comfortable railway transport on intercity lines and urban railways in large cities, access to high-speed Internet in sparsely populated areas and reduction of water losses. It is planned to purchase 42 new trains for suburban areas, 20 electric trains for intercity lines and 18 locomotives for suburban and intercity railways.
Measures from the plan in the field of education and social sphere will support the renovation and construction of schools, the 112 emergency line will be modernized, modern medical equipment will be purchased and an air ambulance system will be built. Social assistance measures will be strengthened and the minimum income will be increased.
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