European Commission restarts payments to Bulgaria under Environment Operational Programme

The European Commission (EC) has informed Bulgaria that payments from EU funds under the Operational Programme (OP) Environment for the programming period 2007-2013 have been restored. The official letter was sent to the Bulgarian authorities on November 13, the EC said in a statement.

This means that the European Commission will now process payment requests from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund for projects under this Operational Programme.

At the beginning of 2014, when the administration that was in power on the basis of a mandate handed to the Bulgarian Socialist Party was still in office, the EC initiated a temporary suspension of payments from the EU funds because of suspected irregularities related to public procurement in the implementation of the projects and due to the weaknesses in the OP’s management and control systems.

After an audit mission in October 2014, two months after the BSP government left office and a caretaker cabinet appointed by President Plevneliev was running the country, the EC concluded that all corrective measures had been implemented.

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(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)