Minister Koritarova: The signing of agreements under the investment program for municipal projects will continue

Options are being sought to ensure greater financial autonomy of municipalities

Industry / Bulgaria
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The signing of financing agreements for proposed municipal projects will continue. This was stated by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Violeta Koritarova, before members of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria. They discussed the investment program for municipal projects, which is implemented with funds from the state budget. The minister called on the local authorities to start conducting public procurement for the selection of contractors more quickly, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport reported today.

Minister Koritarova commented on the program with mayors within the framework of the final conference held in Sofia today on the "Project "Development of fiscal decentralization and improvement of financial management at the local level in Bulgaria". The initiative is being implemented by the Ministry of Regional Development in partnership with the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria and with the support of the European Commission and the Council of Europe.

"The project offers models for achieving greater financial autonomy of municipalities and a set of practices for increasing their revenues," said Minister Koritarova to the conference participants - representatives of the partnering European institutions, local authorities and non-governmental organizations.

"We all want to live in a modern country, but the transfer of powers, functions and funds from the central to the local government should be done in such a way as to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of public finances," the minister also said. And he added that it is necessary to strengthen public control over the actions of the institutions in connection with the spending of funds, the stimulation of sustainable local and regional development and the strengthening of local democracy.

Engineer Koritarova explained that a road map with two scenarios for carrying out the necessary reforms has been prepared within the project and the most suitable one should be chosen in order to achieve greater financial independence that is acceptable to all participants in the process. She emphasized that the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works will continue to work to introduce a better cooperation mechanism so that next year there will be progress on the project.

Within the framework of the forum, Minister Koritarova also held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe Matthew Morey. The two discussed topics of mutual interest and paid attention to the good dialogue between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Council of Europe.

We want our municipalities to be more self-sufficient and independent, because this will improve the development of the regions and is a step towards preventing depopulation, Minister Koritarova said during the meeting. Matthew Morey emphasized that fiscal decentralization is of great importance to the Council of Europe and is not just a technical reform, but a tool for empowerment and an opportunity for citizens to feel power closer to themselves. He noted the good cooperation between the MRDPW and NSORB for the progress of the process.

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