Bulgaria has officially requested a BGN 2.7 billion first payment under the Recovery Plan
Bulgaria has officially requested a BGN 2.7 billion first payment under the Recovery Plan. This was said at a briefing in the Council of Ministers by Atanas Pekanov, the Deputy Prime Minister for the management of European funds. Along with the payment request, the government provided the European Commission services with detailed and comprehensive documents proving the fulfillment of the 22 key milestones and targets agreed in advance with Brussels. They cover reforms in the fields of education, industry, energy, justice, transport, digital connectivity, health care and, last but not least, social assistance. The Commission should thoroughly consider and evaluate this information before submitting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request within two months. " The implementation of the planned reforms and the expected first payment is a key step, but it is only the first of many. " We continue the work on the implementation of the Plan, on the key reforms and on the launch of the investment projects. It is our goal and responsibility to fulfill our commitments. This will be the best proof that Bulgaria really wants to take the necessary steps towards a more efficient economy and towards increasing its potential ", commented Deputy Prime Minister Pekanov. He emphasized that key and difficult reforms are ahead, as well as work on the implementation of investment projects, which will unlock the receipt of the remaining almost 8.5 billion BGN under the Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism. The caretaker government will continue its efforts to prepare the necessary legislative changes to present as a package to the future parliamentary majority. " We will expect responsible and mature behavior from the future people`s representatives, on whom the rapid adoption of all these important reforms for our country will depend, " added the vice-prime minister for management of European funds. At today`s meeting of the Council of Ministers, normative changes were also adopted regarding the Coordination Council for Bulgaria`s preparation for membership in the Eurozone. Through them, the composition was refined and the Deputy Prime Minister for the management of European funds was included as a member of the Council in order to more effectively implement the practical preparation of our country for future membership in the Eurozone. " For Bulgaria and the official cabinet, the main priority is to continue all processes related to closer European integration of our country - our entry into Schengen, the Eurozone, the OECD. The goals set in the National Plan for the introduction of the euro require serious organizational, coordination and expert work in the coming weeks, which should not be stopped or delayed. Europe and the world are in a turbulent environment and it is important for Bulgaria not to remain outside the processes, on the periphery of the European Union, but to aim to be part of its core ", comments Atanas Pekanov.