The Bulgarian cabinet voted Wednesday measures to speed up the absorption of EU funds in the country, which is falling behind in its rate of use of monies from the Union.
One of the adopted proposals made by minister of EU funds Tomislav Donchev involved raising the rate of advance payments on the Transport, Environment and Regional Development Operational Programmes to 35%. According to Donchev this frees up resources amounting to BGN 180 M.
Another important change introduced Wednesday is that state agencies will be penalized for delaying EU funds payments to any beneficiary. Payments on EU programs will have to be made within three months of filing a report and request for payment on the part of the beneficiary, after which date agencies will be owing interest on the amounts.
Donchev stated that there is a good chance that EU funds absorbed by the end of 2010 will reach BGN 2 B.
Up to this point, BGN 1.1 B have been absorbed, which according to Donchev is seven times more than the amount for the same period last year.