Regional Development Programme 2021-2027 applications have been launched

Regional Development Programme 2021-2027 applications have been launched

27 Jun 2023 | 17:10

Nearly BGN 2.5 billion are earmarked for financing Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) concepts under the RDP 2021-2027

 

Applications are open for the Regional Development Programme 2021-2027, which is managed by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works. The Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) Concept Note has been approved and the procedure is officially open in the Information System for Management and Monitoring (ISMM). The deadline for submitting concepts for ITIs is 27.09.2023. Regional Development Prorgamme 2021-2027, has a total budget of BGN 3,6 billion, provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The funds foreseen for the integrated territorial development of the regions under Priority 2 of the programme are close to BGN 2.5 billion.

The publication of the procedure launches the implementation of the new investment approach to support the implementation of a sustainable and balanced regional policy. The new Integrated Territorial Approach is by its very nature a mechanism for multi-level and multi-sectoral governance of regional policy as it requires the involvement of local, regional and national stakeholders in its design, implementation and monitoring. Investments will be planned and implemented respecting the bottom-up principle of the territory concerned in partnership and with “shared responsibility” in its structuring and implementation, taking into account local needs and potential. The synergistic and integrated investment process of the target territories will be achieved through the implementation of priority projects in sectoral policies with the highest added value.

The foundations of the regional development reform were laid in 2019 when the structure and methods for its implementation were developed. By Council of Ministers’ Decision No. 335 of 7 June 2019, it is foreseen that, in addition to the resources of the Regional Development Programme, each of the programmes co-financed by the European Funds for the programming period 2021-2027, with the exception of the Transport Connectivity Programme, the Food and Basic Material Assistance Programme and the Technical Assistance Programme, allocate a resource of at least 10% of their funding to the ITI.

In order to achieve the objectives of the reformed regional policy and the decentralisation of governance bodies at regional level, as well as to structure the new approach, joint projects of the MRDPW with the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development were also implemented. As a result of the work and the recommendations received, changes were initiated in the Regional Development Act (the RDA) and its Implementing Rules.

Recent changes in the regulatory framework for the management of EU funds, regulating the new regional approach, were part of the milestones included and accepted as successful implementation by the EC in the first request for payment under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

At the same time, the amendment of the RDA of 2020 refines the system of structure and documents for planning, programming and management of regional and spatial planning and conducting successful reform of regional policy. The streamlining of the strategic documents for the implementation of regional and spatial development policy has changed the structure and expanded the functions and powers of the Regional Development Councils (RDCs) to carry out pre-selection activities for project ideas funded from various sources. This marks the beginning of the decentralisation and regionalisation process by strengthening the role of the second tier of government.

The requirements and rules for the preparation, submission, appraisal, funding and implementation of specific project proposals will be the subject of separate Application Guidelines developed by the respective Managing Authorities of the participating programmes. More information on RDP 2021-2027 and the ITI can be found at www.bgregio.eu and on the MRDPW website - www.mrrb.bg.