Bulgaria Still Not Planning EU Funding, Report Says

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Posted in category Balkan News, Balkans
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Bulgaria is failing to adopt measures to make proper use of potential European funding for the next six years, a report by the National Audit Office argues.

Lack of priorities in distributing EU funds between 2014 and 2020 may be one of the reasons why Bulgaria is lagging behind the rest of Europe, a report by Bulgaria’s National Audit Office says.

In its report, the Audit Office set out to find out whether the country was ready to manage European funding for 2014-2020.

The auditing body looked into administrative actions undertaken from January 2012 to September 2013, and discovered that no legal regulations to manage EU funds for the next six years have been adopted.

It said no priorities have been set to tackle long-standing problems such as poverty and the healthcare system or to address issues about public governance, innovation, work efficiency, fighting corruption, rule of law, and several other issues.

Strategic documents referring to the upcoming period have successfully named factors hindering employment and economic growth – but have failed to adopt measures vital to healthcare and education.

The Audit Office report noted that potential EU funds could be of great use to Bulgaria if they went hand in hand with a comprehensive, coherent and flexible legal framework.

“Excessive bureaucracy” should be reduced, and electronic management of operational programs should be fully introduced to avoid institutional instability and political interference, the report said.

The auditing body echoed fears shared earlier by MEPs that EU funds might be stopped for Bulgaria unless it changed its approach to the way European money was allocated and used.

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