Bulgarian Regions Absorb 3.1 Billion Levs Under EU-backed Programme
Friday, 28 October 2016
Regional Development and Public Works Minister Lilyana Pavlova opened in Pleven on Thursday the sixth sitting of the monitoring committee of EU-back Operational Programme Regions in Growth (2014-2020).
The sitting, attended by experts and representatives of the European Commission, will hear a presentation of the report on the implementation of the programme in 2007-2020 and an update on the current state of the 2014-2020 programme.
Bulgaria's regions have absorbed 3.1 billion leva under the programme so far which has changed the cityscapes, Pavlova said. The funds were spent on urban environment, transport, school repairs, universities, and tourist sites, she added, noting that Regions in Growth is one of the programmes where fund absorption is at 100 per cent.
The new operational programme is based on three new components. The first component is the municipalities which are now not only beneficiaries but have rights and obligations and have been given a vote of confidence. They can now assess and pick their own projects to ensure the funds are spent the best way possible, Pavlova said.
The second component is the financial instruments - projects, related to the long-term low-cost lending under the urban environment programme that we implemented, the Minister said. Three new funds - for Northern Bulgaria, Southern Bulgaria and for Sofia, will be set up, adding 370 million leva in start-up capital to the investments made under the operational programme. The funds will make it possible to multiply the effect from this capital resource, meaning over half a billion leva of additional investments in the regions, and to back projects that generate income and create jobs while improving the cityscape, Pavlova said, adding these could be projects for marketplaces, sports centres, commercial, medical or educational institutions.