The European Commission said on November 26 that it approved an amendment to Bulgaria’s innovation and competitiveness EU funds operational programme, allowing the country to spend 511 million euro to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The money, from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund, would be spent on grants for working capital to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, on equity investments and loan guarantees.
“Bulgaria was one of the first member states to take advantage of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative. These measures have a short-term objective of crisis relief but Bulgaria will also continue to benefit from additional EU support for crisis repair to allow its economic recovery,” European commissioner for cohesion Elisa Ferreira said in a statement.
The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+) mechanisms, approved by the EU in April, allow the bloc’s member states to use cohesion policy funding to support the most exposed sectors to the pandemic, such as healthcare, SMEs and labour markets.