The European Commission said on August 7 that it has adopted the partnership agreement with Bulgaria on the use of EU structural and investment funds in the country for the 2014-2020 budget period.
The agreement envisions Bulgaria receiving 10 billion euro until the end of the decade, with the bulk of the money – 7.6 billion euro – allocated in cohesion policy funding, the EU’s main instrument towards achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy for inclusive, smart and sustainable growth.
Cohesion policy funds would be delivered through seven operational programmes: regions in growth, innovation and competitiveness, environment, transport and transport infrastructure, science and education, good governance, and human resource development.
Bulgaria will also receive a further 2.3 billion euro for rural development and 88 million euro for fisheries and the maritime sector, the EC said.
The EU investment is meant to help tackle unemployment and boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to innovation, training and education in cities, towns and rural areas, the EC said, as well as promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and help to develop an environmentally friendly and a resource-efficient economy.
European regional policy commissioner Johannes Hahn said that the “investment strategy builds on the important efforts Bulgaria is already making to help the EU meet its goals of creating long-term and sustainable development in all of its less developed regions. This Partnership Agreement […] will give a strategic direction to future programmes that will create jobs, transform Bulgarian SMEs into models of growth, and support environmentally friendly growth in its cities as well. It should also help secure Bulgaria’s well-established track record in catching up with the rest of Europe.”
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)