Brussels: EU funds may not be sufficient for all infrastructure projects

Brussels: EU funds may not be sufficient for all infrastructure projects

The European Commission plans to continue funding infrastructure projects in Bulgaria, but the money allocated under the Transport operational programme may not be sufficient and some of the could be financed after 2014, Ton van Lierop, a spokesperson for regional development commissioner Johannes Hahn, told Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) on October 6 2011."We do not plan to cut, reject or suspend any payments. However, it may suddenly turn out that there are too many projects - for reasons related to planning and financing," Lierop said.The remaining projects will be likely funded in the next programme period between 2014 and 2020.On October 6, the European Commission outlined new priorities in using EU funding after 2013, saying it would focus on social issues and unemployment.Infrastructure projects will not be as important as they were in the 2007-2013 programme period, and therefore Bulgaria could less money for road projects than planned. Currently, the Transport operational programme has a budget of one billion euro.Lierop mentioned some parts of the Trakia and Strouma motorways among the projects likely to be affected. In turn, European affairs minister Tomislav Donchev said that he expected no problems with the financing of motorways in the country. In particular, the application form for the Trakia motorway has already been approved by the European Commission, he said.The application for Strouma is yet to be submitted to the commission, a move expected to take place in the coming weeks, Donchev said. (Source: The Sofia Echo)

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