The Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of European Funds has presented the Interim Report on the absorption of European funds in Bulgaria. The meeting of the committee was attended by the National Assembly president Tsetska Tsacheva, the minister for EU funds management Tomislav Donchev, the ambassadors of the EU triple presidency member states – Poland, Denmark and Cyprus and representatives of the executive branch of power.
At the opening, the National Assembly President Tsetska Tsacheva noticed that the regular reports of the committee have led to a positive outcome of regular oversight on the part of parliament over the processes connected with the management of the European funds in the country. She pointed out that the committee is carrying strong dialogue over the European agenda issues of the country with representatives of the civil society through the Social Council.
“I am convinced that the established tradition of a double control over the spending of European funds – by the civil society and the parliament – helps the work of the executive and the state institutions to be more transparent and accounted for”, said the speaker of parliament. She expressed hope that the strong dialogue will continue and the vision for the country’s development for the next program period 2014-2020 will be formulated accordingly.
The interim report of the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of European Funds was presented by its president MP Monika Panayotova. It covers 21 programs funded with EU money. The report reviews the progress reached in the period between January – June 2011, as well as the problem areas in the implementation of the Operational Programs and the other EU financial instruments. It also takes note of the recommendations made by CE for the next program period 2014-2020. Monika Panayotova noted that the absorption of European funds has doubled in the first half of 2011, as had the implementation of the very prognostics, showing improved planning ability on the part of the funds’ managing institutions and their increased flexibility. She said the systems for management and control over the EU funds demonstrate already stability and reliability. In her words the administrative capacity continues to be an essential problem in the absorption of EU funds but the progress in the capacity of the managing bodies and beneficiaries also merits to be mentioned.
The Minister in charge of EU funds management Tomislav Donchev noted that a big part of the operational programs could be praised for the very low percentage of mistakes committed – lower than the average for Europe. This fact shows the system is working better on a national level, as well as on the level of managing organs. According to him that demonstrates that all participants in the process, not only the state institutions, but also the different categories of beneficiaries are dealing better with the preparations and the management of EU funds. Minister Donchev pointed out that to a great extent the funding used from all financial instruments has followed the current needs of the country and those that will appear in one, two or three years from now.