Malina Krumova, Director of “Cohesion Policy for Environment” Directorate at MEW:
The Chamber can help solve the problems we face
Mrs. Krumova, as head of the Managing authority of OP “Environment” (ОPE) can you give an estimate whether we will absorb all the funds in it until the end of this programming period?
At present the picture in the management of OPE is not particularly rosy. It is important to focus our efforts on the absorption of EU funds. From BGN 3.5 billion available under the program only BGN 428 million reached the municipalities and contractors of the sites. The difference with contracted funds, which are BGN 2.4 billion, is great. On paper, the resource to date has already been in local government but its actual implementation is just beginning. The speed with which the process is going does not make us happy enough. We, the Managing Authority (MA) of OPE, rely on activity on the part of municipalities as well as on the Bulgarian Construction Chamber for suggestions on how to speed up the process and ensure within the current programming period that the entire resource which is allocated will be invested in real sites.
At what stage are the activities of different priority axes?
To the largest one, covering 71.71% of the funds under the program currently have been concluded about 100 contracts. Of these 31 are for construction and the remaining – for technical assistance. 26 of the signed contracts are for the so called combined procedure, i.e. for training and for subsequent implementation. I must admit that the speed with which municipalities mobilize their teams to work on them is not very effective. Only 15 investment projects are operational in 12 municipalities as only five of the infrastructure contracts are fully completed. Slightly encouraging is the fact that 69 of the project proposals are at evaluation stage. Currently three major projects were submitted for evaluation to the European Commission. There are comments from Brussels on two of them – Plovdiv and Dobrich.