site.btaEuropean Commission to Assess Bulgaria's Territorial Just Transition Plans
The European Commission (EC) confirmed Monday that it has received Bulgaria’s territorial just transition plans. An EC spokesperson said that an assessment of the Bulgarian proposals could be expected within four months.
On September 30, the EC received the plans submitted by Bulgaria, the spokesperson said answering a question at a press conference here on Monday. The Commission has now up to two months to make observations and up to four months in total to decide on the approval of the programme, he explained. Prior to making a decision, the Commission will assess whether the plans contain what is needed, as well as the objectives and the ways to support the regions moving towards a cleaner economy.
A press release by the EC says that Bulgaria's request is based on the need to factor in the downward revision of its maximum Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) grant allocation, from EUR 6.27 billion to EUR 5.69 billion. The revision is part of the June 2022 update to the RRF grants allocation key and reflects Bulgaria's comparatively better economic outcome in 2020 and 2021 than initially foreseen.
Bulgaria's proposed modification of the plan, which will now be assessed by the Commission, concerns 17 investments included in the original plan. Some of these investments are downsized, such as those linked to energy efficiency of public buildings, a national infrastructure for storage of electricity from renewables and the modernisation of hospital facilities. Three investments are removed from the plan, namely those supporting the digital transformation of the Bulgarian Post, the construction of an intermodal transport terminal in Ruse and digitalising the management, control and efficient use of water.
The Commission now has up to two months to assess whether the modified plan still fulfills all the assessment criteria in the Recovery and Resilience Facility Regulation. If the Commission's assessment is positive, it will make a proposal for an amended Council Implementing Decision to reflect the changes to the Bulgarian plan. Member States will then have up to four weeks to endorse the Commission's assessment.