site.btaUPDATED Government Drops Projects under Recovery and Resilience Plan
Bulgaria’s government has decided to drop some of the projects under the Recovery and Resilience Plan, Finance Minister Assen Vassilev told a briefing after Wednesday's Council of Ministers meeting. This move was prompted by a change in the Plan's financial framework introduced back in 2022, he added.
“The allocation of 30% of Recovery and Resilience Plan funding depended on the countries’ economic recovery, and 24 out of 27 countries lost funding in 2022 as they failed to comply with the formula agreed upon at the very inception of the Plan,” Vassilev recalled.
He explained that one of the projects concerned is for the construction of a large battery storage park, as well as projects that should have been in the implementation phase - prepared for, or in process of, public procurement procedures, or with selected contractors, but the government failed to launch this phase in the past year.
Vassilev said that 18 projects in different implementation phases will be affected. One of them is the proton therapy centre project, whose implementation is one year overdue, and there is no way that public procurement can be carried out, equipment can be purchased, or the centre can be built, opened, and paid for by June 30, 2026. “The Recovery and Resilience Plan sets a time constraint which cannot be ignored: projects delayed by one year are automatically dropped," Vassilev said. He explained that the proton therapy centre can still be built if Parliament approves it, but it will be done with state funding.
Answering a question about the Maritsa East 2 energy complex and trade unionists who have declared strike readiness because of the territorial plans, Vassilev said that the plans should be completed and sent to the European Commission by the end of the month. “As far as I know, talks between the Energy Ministry and the trade unions are ongoing, so there will be an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers on Friday, which is the last possible deadline for the adoption of these plans. My stance is that Bulgaria should avail itself of this funding and that the Energy Ministry, together with everyone represented in the energy sector, should decide what is the best way to invest these funds in order to help regions develop," Vassilev said.