Bulgaria Expects Over EUR 2B in EU Funds in 2014-2020 – Transport Minister
Bulgaria hopes to receive over EUR 2 B in EU funds in the 2014-2020 programming period and their absorption has already been planned and divided among infrastructure projects, according to Ivaylo Moskovski, Minister of Transport, Information Technology, and Communications.
In a Saturday interview for Darik radio, he said that over 60% of the investments in the sphere of infrastructure in Bulgaria came exclusively from EU funds.
Moskovski explained that EUR 700 M of the total would be spent on the completion of the Struma Highway section running through the Kresna Gorge, while another EUR 700 M would go to the section connecting the towns of Septemvri and Dragoman.
He made clear that the remaining part of the EU money would be allocated to the completion of the Hemus Highway stretch from Veliko Tarnovo to Sofia and to the Sofia subway section connecting downtown Sofia to the northern part of the city.
However, Bulgaria's EU funding for the 2014-2020 programming period remains largely unclear after the failure of EU leaders to reach agreement on the long-term budget of the bloc during the 2-day special EU summit in Brussels.
The new summit on the EU budget for 2014-2020 is to take place in January or February 2013, according to Luxembourg's Prime Minister and Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker.
In his Saturday interview, Moskovski claimed that Bulgaria was entitled to be part of the EU Cohesion Policy on the grounds that it was aimed at balancing the standards of poorer and richer Member States
Bulgaria's Transport Minister argued that the Cohesion Policy had failed to yield results in Greece, Portugal, and Spain over the past few years because the investments had gone to inefficient projects, which had awakened mistrust in richer EU countries.
"The case is different in Bulgaria. You can see the impact of the subway, over 350 000 people use it on a daily basis. This project has a serious impact on the environment and transport in Sofia," Moskovski noted.
He announced that Bulgaria mostly invested in trans-European corridors and was the sole country in Europe to host five such corridors.
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