Deputy Minister Angelina Boneva: Green investments can become a motor for regional development

Deputy Minister Angelina Boneva: Green investments can become a motor for regional development

28 Jun 2023 | 17:22

The third meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Regional Development Prorgamme 2021-2027 took place


“Green investments are key to regional development and can become an engine for economic growth and investment at the territorial level.” This is what Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Angelina Boneva said during the third Monitoring Committee of the Regional Development Programme 2021-2027 held today.

It was reported that the Operational Programme “Regions in Growth” 2014-2020 has reached almost 100% contracting and is working towards full absorption of funds in the remaining 6 months until the end of 2023.

762 grant contracts have been concluded with a total contracted amount of BGN 3.125 billion or 99.3% of the programme budget, of which 182 are under implementation and 580 have been completed.

Under Priority Axis 1 “Sustainable and Integrated Urban Development”, the conditions for education have been improved in more than 200 schools in the territory of the 36 large cities, the energy performance of the infrastructure of the large cities has been improved, and projects have been implemented so far in 33 public buildings - Regional Police Administrations, District Office “Fire Safety and Population Protection”, municipalities, etc., as well as in 182 residential buildings involving 2,668 households.

Urban and green infrastructure has been upgraded in 36 major cities, with 53 projects implemented, with a total rehabilitated area of over 4 million m2.

In terms of social infrastructure, 19 sites have been improved - community support centres, crisis centres, temporary accommodation centres, etc. The performance indicator for rehabilitated housing in urban areas was achieved at almost 113%. The programme funds have created over 710 social housing units, benefiting over 1,400 people.

Under Priority Axis 2 “Support for energy efficiency in focal points in peripheral regions” the implementation rate is 107.3%. The energy performance of 236 public buildings in small municipalities was optimised. Energy efficiency measures were implemented in 468 residential buildings and the living conditions of almost 7000 households in the 28 small municipalities were improved.

Under Priority Axis 3 “Regional Educational Infrastructure” the conditions for education in over 50 vocational schools throughout the country have been improved and the infrastructure of 11 higher education institutions in Bulgaria has been upgraded.

Under the fourth Priority Axis “Regional Health Infrastructure” 357 equipped ambulances have been provided for the emergency medical centres in the country. The implementation of the project on “Provision of air vehicles for response to emergency medical conditions” is underway. A contract has been signed with a contractor and handover of the helicopter to the contracting authority, the Ministry of Health, is expected to take place in December 2023.

Under Priority Axis 5 “Regional Social Infrastructure”, 116 facilities in the process of deinstitutionalisation for children have been renovated and the conditions of 53 social facilities in the process of deinstitutionalisation for adults have been improved.

Contracts under the priority “Regional Tourism Infrastructure” are under implementation.

More than 500 km of the national road network have been improved with funds from Priority Axis 7 “Regional Road Infrastructure”.

During the Monitoring Committee it was reported that in relation to inflationary processes, measures have been taken to index the costs of contracts concluded under the terms of the Public Procurement Act. In accordance with the methodology approved by the Council of Ministers, indexation of works contracts has been carried out for all 82 beneficiaries who have submitted a request to the Managing Aurhority. The total amount of the inflationary supplement is BGN 50,2 million A further 9 requests with an indicative total grant value of BGN 4,4 million are being processed.

Regarding the new programming period year, a peer discussion was held on the progress of the Regional Development Programme 2021-2027 amendment to include the two new Just Transition priorities and the range of possible investments proposed. In line with the timetable presented, it was agreed to continue the dialogue so that Bulgaria would be able to fulfil its commitment to formally submit a draft amendment to the RDP 2021-2027 to the EC by September 2023 at the latest to provide additional resources under the Just Transition priorities, together with a third and improved version of the Territorial Plans for Just Transition (TPJT).

“This is a key tool that will help us on the road to achieving the Green Deal goals,” said Agnès Monfret. “We are pleased that the Managing Aurhority is more active, progress is significant, but everyone involved in the process needs to be engaged very seriously,” she added, finally warning that the timelines for the remaining work are critically short.

Deputy Minister Angelina Boneva assured that there is political will to raise this issue and with the partnership of all stakeholders to reach a national, consolidated decision of Bulgaria by September at the latest, so that our country can benefit from the funds under the Just Transition Fund, which amount to 1.1 billion euros.

Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works