The vice-president of the European Investment Bank responsible for the Jessica programme (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas), Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen and the Bulgaria Minister of Regional Development Rosen Plevneliev signed an agreement in Sofia establishing a Jessica Holding Fund.
The Jessica fund will be tasked with revenue-generating, urban development projects, including the rehabilitation of deprived urban areas in seven big cities across the country, a media statement from the European Investment Bank . The fund, which is worth 33 million euro, including 28 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is complemented by a further five million euro of Bulgarian national co-financing, the report said. It will allow the implementation of Bulgaria’s 2007-2013 Regional Development Operational Programme, which has a strong urban development focus.
Sofia, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Burgas, Varna, Ruse and Pleven will enjoy the BGN 65 M, which will come from the European fund for regional development and will be managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Unlike the other projects, financed by the operational program “Regional Development”, these money will not be granted for free. It will be operated through a holding fund, which will give it to the businesses and municipalities. It will then need to be given back with an interest and after that given to new business projects.
"The EIB closely cooperates with the Managing Authorities of EU Structural Funds to help develop urban economies and the built environment in a strategic, sustainable way. I very much welcome Bulgaria's work in this area. I would also like to thank the European Commission and the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works for the support they have provided, and I look forward to the successful deployment of Jessica in Bulgaria," EIB Vice-President Kollatz-Ahnen, in charge of Jessica in Europe said. The fund is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank.