Andrey Novakov, Member of the EP from the EPP Group/GERB: The Cohesion Policy should not suffer from insufficient financing

Mr. Novakov, according to an agreement reached be-tween the leaders of the mem-ber states, it is now clear that Bulgaria will have EURO 29 Billion from the next Multi-annual Financial Framework and from the fund for tack-ling the COVID-19 crisis. How would you comment on this amount?

The said EURO 29 Billion will be a budget of historical im-portance for our country. Taking into account that the funding we receive from the European structural and investment funds has increased with about 9%, I cannot have any other opinion than exclusively positive one. I do hope, and I will work for the European Parliament (EP) to confirm or to increase this number for Bulgaria. On the other hand, we are among the countries that re-ceive the most net funding un-der the new Fund for Recovery from the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. All of these are just good news for Bul-garia. I believe that the EP will endorse this agreement latest in October and that this money will be available from the 1st January 2021.

You are a Co-Rapporteur and Chief Negotiator for the Cohesion Policy after 2020. What should be its future?

In the first place, it should not suffer from insufficient fi-nancing. The fact that we have to manage the new challenges we face, such as the pandemic and the environmental protec-tion, should not be at the ex-pense of Cohesion policy and it should not lag behind. And that is why it was important for our country the funding not to be reduced, although EU funding for some of the countries has been significantly reduced.On the other hand, the chance for it to survive – I am talking like that because there are some colleagues in the EP, who are very critical of the co-hesion policy and who support the view that it is obsolete, an opinion which is not shared by me, it must be adapted and modernised. The funding pro-vided under it should involve the new EU goals. For example, it is easy to include cohesion into the Green Deal when the funding it provides is used not only for energy efficient reno-vation of buildings, but also for installation of solar panels, thus reducing the electricity energy costs. These are the reasons why the cohesion policy must have at disposal a significant amount of resources, as it has been so far, and also to keep improving, thus avoiding un-necessary criticism that we are witnessing at present in the European Parliament.

What will be the priorities for Andrey Novakov by the end of 2020?

The main priority will be to complete my work, as a mem-ber of the Committee on Budg-ets in the EP, on the EU budget for the next seven years, so that we can ensure over the next 7 years the retaining, and even increase of funding for Bulgaria.