"We literally democratized the management of European funds - we took all the good European practices and brought them to every area of the state. We went all over the country. We initially welded 4 projects in the line of technological modernization, and at the moment there are 11,000 requests", pointed out the Minister of Innovation and Growth Alexander Pulev in an interview on BNT. He emphasized that, in addition to the contracts with SMEs approved under the first procedure under the RSP - for technological modernization, an additional resource was also provided.
"Initially, the budget for technological modernization approved by the EC was in the amount of BGN 260 million. On the basis of the huge interest that we managed to generate through the mobile reception, on the basis of the goodwill of the team, we were able to negotiate and secure an additional resource of another 100 million BGN. Thus, we effectively increased the budget from 260 to almost 360 million BGN and in this way, we will help another 300-320 companies to overcome the crisis in the country," he said.
RSP is a very important financial instrument that is already very actively helping people and employers in every area of the country to overcome this cascade of crises that we inherited from the work of the regular government, the acting minister also said.
Asked to name an innovation he was proud of, Pulev pointed out that a high-tech company developing nano-satellites in Bulgaria, with the products being 100% manufactured in Bulgaria, received a grant under the technological modernization procedure to invest in own camera that creates complete noise isolation and this allows them to test their nano-satellites in an environment close to that of space. As other examples, Pulev pointed out that in Vidin funds were given for metallurgy, and in Pazardzhik a small confectionery workshop was supported to invest in new equipment.
Assuring that the funds from the RSP contribute to overcoming the imbalances between the regions, the acting minister pointed out that the long-awaited procedure has been launched since Friday, again along the lines of the RSP, related to investments in industrial zones throughout the country, the scoring system has a priority "Northern Bulgaria" and the expectations are to create a cluster of investors in certain regions.
The Acting Minister of Innovation and Growth shared that when he entered his office on August 2, he found an open procedure under the RSP - that of technological modernization and found that business circles around the country did not know that the plan was open and works. "The plan was an informational black hole," he commented and, by comparison, pointed out that there are already approved projects in every single area of the country. He also pointed out that according to a sociological survey, thanks to the work of the Ministry of Innovation and Growth and the management of European funds, incl. on the RSP and the structural funds, at the moment the business feels maximally and most adequately informed about all financing possibilities. This is as a result of the clean, transparent and open policies of the caretaker government, Pulev emphasized.
He described the attacks on the official cabinet as "hollow fulcrums" and a screen behind which, he said, most political parties try to hide their own management deficits and their real intentions.
"From the first day of office, we have been accused of sabotaging energy diversification," he noted and countered: "Which government completed the interconnector?... Who abolished gas commissions?" He also recalled that office cabinet received recognition not only for that he works for the energy independence of Bulgaria, and that he has contributed to that of the entire region.
"When I entered the office on August 2, there were zero approved European funds under the structural funds. Thanks to the excellent interaction that the entire cabinet showed, from zero programs approved by the EC, we got to the approval of all 10", the official minister also pointed out and commented: "This could not have happened without the EC recognizing the official cabinet as a professional and sustainable partner'.
He assured that from the first day the official office works for Bulgaria.
According to him, it is high time for the parliament to force the work on the laws necessary for RSP and added: "When we entered the cabinets, most of these laws were at the level of titles. With a unified policy, with good will, with pro-European thinking and professionalism, the official cabinet was able to develop these key draft laws and they are currently sitting on various desks in the parliament and asking questions".
According to Pulev, there is currently a lack of responsibility in the parliament, there is a lack of responsibility on the part of the parties.
"There is no real risk for payments. The state will not stop functioning after June 10. We did the most adequate and responsible action - we extended the budget, now we are extending the extension, so there will be money, people should be calm," the minister added.