At a meeting on July 26, Bulgaria’s government adopted a governance programme up to December 24, with five main priorities, including accession to the Schengen visa zone by the end of 2023 and joining the euro zone from January 1 2025, according to a government media statement.
The programme is the result of an agreement between the two coalitions that voted the government into office on June 6, GERB-UDF and We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria.
On Schengen, the goal is to carry out all the necessary activities in order to meet the requirements of the European partners for accepting Bulgaria into Schengen, the statement said.
The government will strengthen border control by creating an effective infrastructure and organisation of work, with which Bulgaria will contribute to the general security of European borders.
A set of new anti-corruption measures will be introduced and the security services will be reformed.
The abolition of the borders between Bulgaria and its EU neighbours will lead to a significant easing of traffic and shortening of the time of stay at the borders, will give an additional boost to tourism, trade and all other areas of cross-border business, the statement said.
With the goal of joining the euro zone from the beginning of 2025, Bulgaria will work closely with the European institutions and partners to fulfill all the necessary conditions for the successful completion of the process.
The Cabinet will propose Budgets for 2023 and 2024 with a three per cent annual budget deficit.
It will conduct a large-scale explanatory campaign about the benefits of the introduction of the single European currency, which aims to refute the disinformation spread and dispel the concerns of some Bulgarian citizens, the statement said.
In this campaign, the government will defend the many benefits of the euro for citizens, businesses and the economy, such as the abolition of conversion fees; stimulating European investments in Bulgaria and creating more, better quality and better paying jobs; strengthening the competitiveness of Bulgarian enterprises; increasing price and economic stability and accelerating growth; facilitating and cheapening the trade of Bulgarian enterprises in the Eurozone and beyond; better integrated and therefore more efficient financial markets.
A third priority is controlling inflation.
The government will take the necessary measures and reforms to stabilise the prices of goods and services and create a favourable economic environment for businesses and citizens, according to the statement.
The Cabinet will support and encourage the development of innovation and industry as well as agriculture. It will strengthen control over the appropriate use of subsidies and against potential abuse of the provided financial resources.
The fourth priority is implementation of reforms and projects from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
The Cabinet will take specific actions, including through legislative initiatives, to ensure the effective implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan and the absorption of subsequent payments.
The foundations will be laid for a green and digital transformation of the economy in the context of the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal, the statement said.
The implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan will restore the growth potential of the economy, develop and increase it, which in the long term will achieve the strategic goal of convergence of the Bulgarian economy and equalization of income levels in Bulgaria with those of Central Europe.
The fifth priority is improving the efficiency and transparency of municipal project management . The government is planning a targeted financial resource for municipal projects, which will allow municipalities to realise their priority initiatives for development and improvement of services for citizens.
In order to guarantee maximum publicity and transparency in the expedient spending of the funds for the municipalities, a predictable and objective methodology for the evaluation of the projects will be developed, the statement said.
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