Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Bulgarian NGOs launch coalition for a green recovery

An unprecedented coalition, which includes MOVE.BG, WWF Bulgaria, Greenpeace Bulgaria and the Institute for Circular Economy, has prepared solutions for a green restart of the Bulgarian economy. 

The measures are grouped into several categories and aim to provide guidelines for investments in areas that will help the transition of the country to a new economic model based on innovation. These measures are offering high-tech solutions for renewables, sustainable agriculture, science-based solutions, support for green-tech companies, environmental protection and so on.

In particular, the coalition For a Green Restart is insisting on full transparency and publicity of the processes for the preparation of the Bulgarian recovery plan under the economic package Next Generation EU. Secondly, it calls for an identification of the national priorities in the direction of the Green Deal. In this regard, Bulgaria should become an active contributor to the process of European economic recovery.

“Drastic systemic reforms are needed, focusing on the innovative capital of our country, large-scale investments in education and knowledge, structural changes and new goals and norms to reduce the carbon footprint,” said Sasha Bezuhanova, founder of MOVE.BG. “It is necessary to mobilise the entire expert capacity for their definition and broad public support for their implementation in order to change the trend and the portrait of our country in Europe.”

The formation of this kind of alternative expert council comes due to what has been defined as the lack of transparency and clarity about the government’s plans on how Bulgaria’s Recovery Plan will be developed and most of all how the Plan will meet European criteria and goals.

The Coalition recalls that Member States will have almost twice the budget due to the new recovery instrument Next Generation EU. On this basis, the countries will have to prepare their National Recovery and Sustainability Plans until October this year. At the moment, the Bulgarian plan is being prepared without transparency and consultations with experts.

“Although we have heard from the Prime Minister that the money for Bulgaria is more than the total amount of the current multiannual financial framework (2014-2020), according to his statements, if we pay attention to the details we will understand that in fact, Bulgaria will receive fewer funds from the Next Generation EU compared to those originally proposed by the EC,” explained Georgi Stefanov, Climate and Energy Practice Manager at WWF Bulgaria. “For example, the funds for agriculture are twice less and for the fund for fair transition four times less. This is generally not a problem, as long as our country draws up a clear program for the transformation of all sectors of our economy, because the amount of funds remains huge for the capacity of the state and there is enough financial resource.”

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