The Bulgarian Recovery and Sustainability Plan is a program for long-term investment projects and reforms that will make the Bulgarian economy stronger and more competitive, boost it and increase the well-being of its citizens by responding to the challenges of the 21st century. This was stated by the Deputy Prime Minister for Management of European Funds Atanas Pekanov after today's meeting of the Council of Ministers.
The plan, which includes 59 investment projects and 46 reforms, has been approved and is due to be formally sent to the European Commission this Friday. According to Deputy Prime Minister Pekanov, the mechanism is a unique new financial instrument within the European response to the pandemic and economic crisis, from which BGN 12.9 billion will flow into the Bulgarian economy in the coming years.
The Deputy Prime Minister thanked the institutions for the exceptional effort to coordinate all state structures and the tireless work on such a plan, which outlines and clearly sets priorities for the development of the country in the next 6 years.
"I thank the people from the team who stood in the offices upstairs for long hours until we confirm and confirm that the proposed projects and reforms meet European requirements. To thank the ministries and agencies that are or will be beneficiaries of hard work projects, sometimes in a very short time. "
He did not spare criticism of the institutions, which have committed themselves to absolutely blocking any reform efforts, citing the Supreme Judicial Council as an example. "Some institutions like the established order and the status quo. But reforms are the key moment to ensure that our economy and country develop in step with the times. And even if there is resistance to them, even if some reforms are painful, we must do them, confident that we are moving forward,"Pekanov explained.
The plan meets both the priorities of the European institutions to strengthen the environmental and digital transition, and the Cabinet's desire to drive key reforms, including those that previous rulers refused to do, in a desire to avoid any difficult topic, the deputy prime minister added and outlined the key changes from recent months:
• Significant strengthening of the focus on decarbonization;
• Increased support for business, with the introduction of financial instruments and partial replacement of the previously provided grant.
• Increased investment focus in the social sphere (education, healthcare, social support);
• 13 new investment projects;
• Reforms in the field of healthcare, electric mobility, social sphere, rule of law and justice, business environment, energy.
The Deputy Minister also responded to the many criticisms of the delay in the Plan, emphasizing that this was due to both the topics avoided so far and the effort to ensure that the funds would be used in the best way: "We managed to do a number of improvements. This delay has led to results and we hear from various partners - to greater efficiency of the planned projects and reforms, to higher efficiency of these funds."
For example, Pekanov pointed to the intensification of reforms regarding the rule of law, for which he thanked the team of the Ministry of Justice and added: of the future strategy for decarbonisation of the country. In cooperation with the trade unions, in the field of energy we have set a new reform for the State Enterprise for Conversion of Coal Regions. "
Deputy Prime Minister Atanas Pekanov also reminded that the work on the Plan is far from over, as formal negotiations with the Commission are forthcoming, especially on the difficult topic of energy. - to improve results: "This goes through the recognition that in many respects we are not doing well enough - we have one of the most energy-intensive economies in Europe, we are a timid economic innovator, health and education systems need reform, we are criticized with regard to justice. But if we say responsibly today - that's right, but it could be something else, we will be able to move forward. With the hope that the important goals set for our country within the framework of the Plan will be fulfilled and overfulfilled by the next regular and caretaker governments, I look forward and will send the Plan to Brussels tomorrow. All these priorities, reforms and investments - do not accept them as the desires or views of a technocrat. Such is the political reality that we need them to ensure the prosperity and development of our citizens and our country."