Bulgaria Takes First Steps in Juncker Investment Plan

Bulgaria Takes First Steps in Juncker Investment Plan

In one year only the European Fund for Strategic Investments managed to mobilize nearly 100 billion euros. However, the idea of EC President Jean-Claude Juncker to add to the EU funds another financial instrument, in order to stimulate the national economies, is still little popular and hard to understand in Bulgaria and most of all – much more exacting towards the applicants. This is so, because the recipients of the private money allotted by the European Fund for Strategic Investments under the Juncker Plan have the obligation to return that sum, whereas in most cases the money allotted under regular EU funds are gratuitous, which means that the companies are not obliged to make profit. That is why that problem ruined the plans of the Bulgarian authorities to receive money under the Juncker Plan and invest this money in energy efficiency of the Bulgarian homes. However, according to EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Kristalina Georgieva, the future is in projects such as the Juncker Plan.
Bulgarian officials and EU experts contend that Bulgaria has its chances under that investment plan. Currently the focus is on six main projects, which can receive financing from the European Investment Fund. Later these projects can generate profits and pay off their loans taken under the investment plan. These are the gas interconnection between Bulgaria and Greece, the port terminal in Bulgaria’s coastal capital Varna, a logistic center situated on the Silk Road connecting Europe and Asia, two electric transmission networks and an international gas project. According to preliminary estimates those projects would cost some 2.6 billion euros.

BNR

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