Overcoming the risks of losing funds from the closing program period, accelerated start of procedures under the new European programs and better communication and public awareness of the results of European investments in Bulgaria.
These three priorities for the work of the institutions were set by the Deputy Prime Minister for the management of European funds Atanas Pekanov during a meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Partnership Agreement for the period 2014-2020 and the Partnership Agreement for the period 2021-2027. This is a partnership mechanism, based on interaction with all interested parties in the process of using European funds in the country.
In his welcome to the Monitoring Committee, Deputy Prime Minister Atanas Pekanov emphasized the need for active and effective work mainly in three directions.
First of all, overcoming the risks of losing funds at the end of the program period, accumulated through a number of challenges of the last two years - the pandemic, the turbulent macroeconomic environment, the sharp jump in prices and the need for indexation, as well as the risks posed by several key infrastructure projects. However, Mr. Pekanov pointed out that thanks to the mobilization of the managing authorities and the beneficiaries, the risk of loss of funds has been largely overcome.
Secondly, the Deputy Prime Minister noted the serious efforts to finalize and approve all new programs within the Cabinet in 2022, thanks to which our country gets access to a total of over 16.5 billion euros. "The focus must now be on the accelerated implementation of the new program period. We set ourselves the goal that all programs have announced application procedures within the office," said Pekanov.
In line with this process, awareness work among Bulgarian citizens about how European funds make the Bulgarian economy and society stronger, more resilient and better prepared for the challenges of the 21st century must be intensified. "We will need a clear and effective policy for promotion and greater visibility of the results of European investments in the country", he was categorical.
Representatives of the administration, local and regional authorities, employer and trade union organizations, the non-governmental sector and the academic community took part in the meeting of the Monitoring Committee. The agenda included a review of the physical and financial progress in the implementation of the operational programs co-financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds for the period 2014-2020 and the new opportunities offered by the already approved programs co-financed by the European Funds under shared management for the period 2021-2027 Mr.
A delegation of the European Commission took part in the Committee, led by Mrs. Sofia Alves - director of the Directorate "Regional and Settlement Policy", Mrs. Agnes Monfre - head of the department Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia, Mr. Kaloyan Kolev - head of a team in the Employment Directorate and others.
At the opening of the meeting, Mr. Pekanov welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of the partnership principle for the effective management of European funds. The representatives of the European Commission congratulated the participants in the meeting, expressing gratitude for the fruitful cooperation with the Bulgarian authorities and the reported good level of achieved results.