EBRD to support Bulgaria in accessing EU funds, advancing structural reforms

By Olga Rosca

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The government of Bulgaria and the EBRD have signed a framework agreement supporting the country’s efforts to make best use of EU funds for projects boosting the economic and social development of the country.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev and EBRD Director, Head of Bulgaria, Larisa Manastirli, in Sofia today.

The EBRD will leverage international experience to support sector reforms and help advance Bulgaria’s priorities in several areas. These include energy reform and energy security, infrastructure, the competitiveness of the private sector  and development of the financial sector.

Ms Manastirli said: “The EBRD is pleased to strengthen the cooperation with the Bulgarian authorities further by offering its expertise to help use EU structural funds in the most effective and efficient way so that they boost economic development and growth.”

“We stand ready to help the government design and implement sustainable, commercially viable solutions and projects with a positive impact on the economic transformation of the country. We are also ready to assist in strengthening the capacity of public institutions to implement EU directives and best practices and to provide efficient, high-quality services to businesses and the public. This will enhance Bulgaria’s capacity to absorb EU funds, advance key reforms, maximise results and stimulate growth.”

The assistance offered covers support to Bulgaria in drafting sector policies and strategies, designing and implementing priority projects as well as capacity-building assistance to make full and effective use of EU structural and investment funds in the 2014-20 programming period.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Bulgaria. To date, the Bank has invested over €3.6 billion in the country, with a record of €620 million in 2016 alone. In the years ahead, the EBRD will aim to keep its level of investment at around €200 million annually in response to local demand.

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