The Revised Plan for the Recovery of Bulgaria has been Finally Approved

Society | December 8, 2023, Friday // 17:27
Bulgaria: The Revised Plan for the Recovery of Bulgaria has been Finally Approved

Bulgaria's revised recovery and resilience plan was approved by European finance ministers on Friday.

This is the last formal vote in Brussels on the plan, which is now to be financed with a total of €5.69 billion in EU grants.

Sofia has pledged to implement 57 projects and 46 reforms by the end of 2026, negotiating them with the European Commission in exchange for access to its mega program to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government submitted a draft revised plan after the amount for Bulgaria was reduced by 578 million euros due to a better-than-expected performance of the economy in 2021 and 2022. To fit the new budget, 17 projects were removed from the plan.

Among them are the construction of a battery factory, the modernization of hospitals, the modernization of "Bulgarian Posts", the construction of an intermodal transport terminal in Ruse and the installation of hydromeasuring equipment against floods.

Since it did not take advantage of the opportunity to add energy projects to the recovery plan, Bulgaria will also not receive the right to an advance payment on these projects, which the approval of the revised plan allows.

At the beginning of October, the government requested that the European Commission transfer to it 724 million euros against fulfilled commitments, as a second payment under the plan against the implementation of 66 pre-arranged measures. Brussels' assessment of the implementation of commitments continues for the second month. The government hoped to receive the money by the end of the year.

On Friday, member states approved a total of 13 revised recovery plans, including Hungary's. This will allow the European Commission to pay in advance 20% of the projects in the additional energy chapter of Hungary - about 920 million euros. It is the first payment for Budapest under the plan, as its money was withheld for failing to meet preconditions to improve the implementation of the rule of law.

Viktor Orban's government is pushing for its money, threatening to veto the proposed opening of talks on Ukraine's EU membership and an increase in the European budget to continue financial and military aid to Kyiv.

Poland's plan has also been approved, and it will also receive 5.1 billion euros in advance - also the first payment. However, the main budget remains frozen until Warsaw complies with the EU Court of Justice order to ensure the independence of judges from the executive.

It was the latest group of countries to have their revised recovery and resilience plans given the go-ahead from Brussels. Bulgaria was among the last to present its adjustments to the plan to the European institutions.

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Tags: plan, recovery, Bulgaria

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