The revised version of the Recovery and Sustainability Plan of the Republic of Bulgaria is published on the website https://www.nextgeneration.bg/ and is accordingly available for public discussion. The latest sanction for making long-term commitments required by European services will be expected from parties in parliament.
"First of all, I want to thank the brilliant teams that have done a huge amount of work invisible to the public in the last 8 weeks. The Reconstruction and Sustainability Mechanism is a new, unique instrument of the European Union, which requires that any project funding proposal meets precise and strict criteria. This requires serious technical work to prepare and verify the eligibility of each of the projects. The ministries and other involved institutions actively participated in the work on the Plan - although I will not hide that the project readiness, the expert potential and the desire for reforms are not available for all countries. We held dozens of meetings and consultations, checked each slip and reworked a huge number of projects. For this short period of time we have prepared a Plan that meets our higher criteria for expediency in the use of funds, "said Atanas Pekanov.
The views of the non-governmental sector and the social partners will be expected from the Deputy Prime Minister's Office in the coming days. And after the constitution of the National Assembly, they will want coordination and discussion with the political parties.
"The recovery and sustainability plan will set many priority projects for the country in the coming years. If we want to ensure that it is implemented, we must have stability and political consensus. There are important political decisions and they can only be made by representatives of political parties. In our discussions with the EC services, two important requirements remain on which we have not reached a full consensus - a faster green transition and reforms regarding the rule of law and good governance. It is not right for a cabinet to make such significant and long-term commitments as, for example, those affecting the long-term development of coal regions. Another area in which important decisions have yet to be taken because further reforms are needed is justice and the rule of law. Despite the numerous meetings and discussions, a number of issues remain open and must be agreed with the services of the European Commission ", admits the Deputy Prime Minister for European Funds Atanas Pekanov. Both topics require political and public consensus and should be recognized by those responsible for its implementation, by democratically elected parties.
With regard to other sectors, the new version of the Plan has increased funding for important items such as education, health and the social sphere. The Plan also includes new reforms, partly addressing the problem of excessive consolidation of funds and individual projects specifically for the capital. The burden on the energy sector has been strengthened to meet the European institutions' desire for higher ambitions. In most of the projects there are changes in order to make better use of the financial resources, the found non-compliant components have been removed.
In the coming days, the strategic document is open for consideration pending political parties deciding what the final version of the document should be submitted to Brussels, as well as pending the views and comments of all stakeholders.