The Partnership Agreement of Bulgaria and the European Union outlining the assistance to be received from the EU structural and investment funds in the period 2014-2020 will be presented to the European Commission for negotiations until the end of March has stated the Justice Minister Zinaida Zlatanova during the parliamentary control session of the European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds Committee. She added the negotiations with the European Commission will continue in order to reach agreement on the preconditions for absorption of European funds.
The Member of Parliament from GERB PG, Tomislav Donchev, wanted to know whether the EC had set as preconditions for European funding reforms in the sectors of healthcare and education and whether closing of hospitals and schools would be needed.
It is important for Bulgaria to have a clear vision and strategy on those two sectors, how their funding is taking place and how efficiency is to be improved, said Zinaida Zlatanova. The government is to adopt soon the Strategy for Higher Education Development, the strategy in the health sector had already been adopted by the Council of Ministers and a plan of action on the strategy is under work. While working on the Action Plan it will be assessed which part will be financed with European funds. Zlatanova said the cabinet is working on a strategy regarding the Urgent Care in Bulgaria, which is to be covered mostly with European money.
The committee chair Denitsa Karadzhova requested information on the main priorities, the stage of preparation and when the proposal on Operational Program “Good governance” will be sent to the European Commission. She mentioned that there were high expectations about the program linked especially to the prospects of launching e-government, e-Judiciary, electronic public procurement and electronic healthcare.
Zinaida Zlatanova answered this particular program is still in the process of negotiations but the expected funds from the European Social Fund will be enough to cover the activities planned by the government. Most of the strategies including the one regarding the state administration and the electronic government had been adopted already or are close to the end. As far as the strategy on introduction of e-Judiciary there is an ongoing discussion and coordination with the Supreme Judicial Council, she ended.