Bulgaria signed an agreement on Operational Arrangements with the European Commission. This is the last necessary agreement in relation to the Recovery and Resilience Plan before our country submits an official request to receive funds under the mechanism. This was announced by the Ministry of Finance. The requested reform is happening nearly a month late, compared to the deadlines set by the government of Kiril Petkov. Bulgaria is the member state with the fastest negotiated and signed Operational Agreements in the entire EU. Although the Bulgarian plan was the 24th adopted, Bulgaria is the 15th country with Operational Arrangements with the EC. The process usually takes between 5 and 7 months, with as many as 10. The Bulgarian government was able to finalize the process in less than 3 months after the approval of the Bulgarian plan by the EU Council.
The operational agreement further specifies the responsible institutions, the method of verification for the achievement of the agreed goals and practical issues regarding the method of cooperation in monitoring the implementation of the Plan. It will be published on the website of the European Commission after the completion of their internal procedures.
This confirms that there is no delay in the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan. In less than 3 months, a Financial Agreement was signed and ratified, all legislative measures related to the first payment were implemented, an information system was built and an internal regulatory framework was developed and adopted for the implementation of reforms and investments, including a Management and Control System, the MoF claim.
In the coming days, the first request for receiving funds under the mechanism will be sent, which, after a two-month evaluation by the EC and a procedure in the Council, is expected to arrive in the fall.
According to experts, in practice, the first funds under the PVU can be expected to be approved by the EC long after the summer vacation of Brussels and start to be paid out only at the end of the year. In Europe, there are already countries that have started receiving the funds to recover from the Covid crisis.