Bulgaria Can Count on More EU Money after 2014 - Lewandowski
Bulgaria can count on a significant increase in the monies from EU funds during the next budget period 2014-2020, the budget commissioner, who is on a visit to the country, has assured.
"In both major areas - cohesion policy and agriculture – the sums, which will be allotted will be increased, including the money for direct payments, which now are comparatively small," Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski said in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio on Friday.
He declined to cite concrete figures, saying that it is still a matter of negotiations.
"I can tell you however that what we are offering is good news for your country," Lewandowski added.
At the end of June Bulgarian Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said the country may expect to receive a 10-15% increase compared to what it has now.
"It will be extremely important in the next 18 months, when the negotiations over the budget are running, that we prove our preparedness to absorb funds so that these preliminary figures become a reality," she told the National Radio.
The European Commission proposes to streamline faster the levels of agricultural subsidies in the old and new member states, which according to Commissioner Georgieva can boost direct payments to Bulgarian farmers by 70%.
A total of 30% of the money, however, will be granted only on condition that the farmers develop organic agriculture.
The European Commission proposed at the end of June that the European Union increase its budget by 5%, defying the demand of Germany, the United Kingdom and France for a budget freeze.
The bombshell proposal covers the period 2014 to 2020 and negotiations over it are expected to run well into next year.
EU spending is negotiated in seven-year cycles and the commission's plans would set the EU budget between 2014 and 2020 at one trillion euros.
Under the plans, about EUR 376 B would go to boosting underdeveloped areas of the EU and another EUR 372 B to support the region's farmers.
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