Bulgarian Govt to Dismiss Employment Agency CEO
The Executive Director of Bulgaria's Employment Agency Kameliya Lozanova will be released from office Tuesday or Wednesday, at the latest.
The news was announced by the public radio, BNR.
The dismissal comes on grounds of systematic mistrust of the European Commission regarding Lozanova's work. There are three letters, sent in the last two years from Brussels, about shortcomings in her carrying out job responsibilities.
The first has been addressed to the Ministers of EU Funds Management and of Social Policy and Labor, Tomislav Donchev and Totyu Mladenov, in the Cabinet of the centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, the second - to the Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister in the current Socialist-backed government, Zinaida Zlatanova, and the third was sent in the last few day personally to Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski. The letters warn that in case personnel changes are not made, this may lead to a revision of financing from the European Social Fund.
Lozanova took over as Director of the Employment Agency during GERB's term. She was not removed from office by the new government of Plamen Oresharski, however the current Minister of Social Policy and Labor, Hassan Ademov, ordered an audit of the Agency, but the results are not yet available.
In addition to the audit of the National Audit Office, NAO, the European Commission is conducting its own, examining the spending under the Operational Program "Human Resources Development"
It is expected that Lozanova will hold a press conference Wednesday, also according to BNR.
Bulgarian media report that in the letter to Oresharski, the EC warns it will freeze all funds for the new program period that are to be managed by the Employment Agency if its leadership is to stay.
The Agency received during the 2007 – 2013 period about EUR 400 M to tackle unemployment and improve labor market. Close to the same amount is slated for 2014 – 2020.
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