Bulgaria Expects BGN 700M in EU Funding Under OP Environment by end-2014
Bulgaria expects to receive BGN 700M in funding under the EU’s Operational Programme Environment by the end of the year, caretaker Environment Minister Svetlana Zhekova has said.
The sum comprises delayed and suspended payments as well as new payments processed over the past two months, Zhekova told Darik radio station on Saturday.
The announcement comes several days after Iliyana Tsanova, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU funds, said the European Commission will unblock frozen payments to Bulgaria under OP Environment within two weeks.
With Bulgaria having passed the entire cycle of auditing of 239 projects underOperational Programme Environment by the Commission, the government is now confident the EU executive body will put disbursement of the funds high on its agenda, Zhekova added.
She estimated financial corrections of some BGN 150M on OP Environment imposed by the Commission as a reasonable assessment of irregularities in procurement procedures.
Bulgaria won’t lose the funding included in the correction as it will be able to reallocate the money to other viable projects under OP Environment. Those projects are to be completed by the end of October 2015 and could be paid for in 2016, Zhekova said.
The Commission froze over EUR 900M in EU funding under OP Environment in November 2013 due to flawed public procurement procedures. In a bid to achieve the unblocking of frozen payments, Bulgaria’s caretaker government approved the proposal of the European Commission for financial corrections amounting to BGN 152.92M
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