The European Commission has endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Bulgaria’s payment request for 1.37 billion euros of grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), a key instrument of the EU’s recovery budget – NextGenerationEU.
On 31 August 2022, Bulgaria submitted a payment request to the Commission based on the achievement of the 22 milestones and targets selected in the Council Implementing Decision (CID) for the first instalment. They cover reforms and investments in the areas of education, smart industry, climate neutrality, digital connectivity, sustainable transport and road safety, justice, anti-money laundering, social inclusion, healthcare and the audit and control system linked to the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
According to the Commission’s press release, the Bulgarian authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the fulfilment of the 22 milestones and targets. The Commission has thoroughly assessed this information before presenting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.
The Bulgarian recovery and resilience plan includes a wide range of investment and reform measures in twelve thematic components. The plan will be supported by 5.7 billion euros in grants.
Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on Member States implementing the investments and reforms outlined in their respective recovery and resilience plans.
“Today, I am delighted to congratulate Bulgaria,” said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. “According to the assessment of the European Commission’s experts, Bulgaria is ready to receive the first payment under NextGenerationEU. Once Member States give their green light, Bulgaria will receive 1.37 billion euros as a result of its good and swift progress in implementing the plan’s first set of reforms and investments.”
What happens now?
The Commission has sent its positive preliminary assessment of Bulgaria’s fulfilment of the milestones and targets to the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), asking for its opinion. The EFC’s opinion, which is expected to be delivered within a maximum of four weeks, should be taken into account in the Commission’s assessment. Following the EFC’s opinion, the Commission will adopt the final decision on the disbursement of the financial contribution, in accordance with the examination procedure, through a comitology committee. Following the adoption of the decision by the Commission, the first disbursement to Bulgaria can take place.
The Commission will assess further payment requests by Bulgaria, based on the fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in the CID, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.