Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

The European Commission unblocked 115 mn euro for Bulgaria

Adelina Marini, May 12, 2009

The European Commission announced officially the unblocking of 115 mn euro from the Cohesion fund for a highway project and technical support in Bulgaria= The decision has been taken because of the reorganisation in the National Road Agency, aimed at ensuring it manages projects efficiently and effectively, in line with EU rules, reported the Commission in a statement. The decision has been officially announced in Brussels after the meeting between the regional policy commissioner Danuta Hubner and the Bulgarian deputy prime minister, responsible for the euro funds Meglena Plugchieva.

The suspension was imposed on 23 July 2008 with the annual report of the Commission due to concerns over management conflict of interests at the Road Agency of the then president of the Agency Veselin Gheorgiev and his two brothers, as well as a weak control system and procurement irregularities.

In today's decision the Commission underlines that it does not affect other EU funds which are currently frozen. They are about half a billion euro either in the pre-accession programmes like PHARE and SAPARD but as well as some Cohesion and Structural funds.

This is good news for the Bulgarian taxpayer who would have in each case paid for the construction of the "Lyulin" highway because the government has recently voted to pay for its construction from the budget.