Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Bulgaria put a condition to contribute to financing climate change

Adelina Marini, December 11, 2009

During the first day of the EU summit in Brussels (the European Council) an agreement for the contribution of member states to the Climate Change Fund has not been reached. At its session in October the European Council has decided that the EU should secure 5-7 bn euro per year by 2013 to help developing and poor nations to adapt and mitigate climate change. However, this sum is supposed to be collected voluntarily. Then the EU has calculated that the overall amount of money for the developing nations should be 100 bn euro per year by 2020. But still this sum is subject to debates in Copenhagen.

The Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who is presiding the European Council for the last time, said at a late night press conference yesterday that so far around half of EU member states have pledged money for the Fund. He explained that many of the member states restrained from announcing any contributions because of the consequences they were facing because of the economic crisis. One of those states is Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borisov said last night that Sofia could not afford paying poor countries to face climate change, unless the frozen EU funds for Bulgaria were not released again. Beside this the Bulgarian premier had requested for guarantees that the country would quickly join the Eurozone. "Bulgaria has demonstrated that it is a state of discipline and that it does not need any restrictive measures such as freezing EU funds. As partners of the Eu we will invest in ecology but we want to receive these guarantees and to be supported by the rest of the member states for our quick accession to the Eurozone".

Mr. Borisov, however, made it clear that these are not conditions for the EU but just the right of the country to protect its national interests and to participate in the Union as an equal partner. The president of the Commission Jose Manuel Barroso added to his part that the efforts to save the planet would cost much less than repairing it afterwords.

It is expected at todays second day of the Council an agreement about the voluntary contributions to climate change Fund to be reached. The Swedish prime minister added that although the contributions were voluntary the EU was pressing its members so as to guarantee EU's leading role in climate change efforts, as well as to help the Union to go to Copenhagen with a common position. At the end of next week more than 110 heads of states and governments will gather in the Danish capital of 192 countries, participating in the UN climate change conference.