In order to fulfill in the utilization of the planned total of around EUR 6.2 billion in operational programs for Bulgaria, Brussels wants programs for education, innovation and ecology besides the rural development and fisheries initiatives, among others.
Until 2016, Bulgaria has to fulfill a number of preconditions for reforms and sectoral policies in order to get the full pre- funding from Brussels.
The main priorities are as follows:
By November 2013, a strategy for road infrastructure has to be accepted. By December 2015 an upgrade strategy for the development of the transport system will be passed. However, the country still negotiates for funds for the renovation of the lower class roads that are part of the European transport corridors. For now, it is certain that there will be funds for railway and road infrastructure, intermodal terminals, traffic management and safety.
In the period 2014-2015, amendments to the Water Acts are to be adopted and sectoral strategies in the sector of water and sanitation are to be developed. This will also manage the Bulgarian water resources and waste management, separately from the construction of landfill systems and the protection of biodiversity.
3.Employment and social inclusion
In the sectors employment and social inclusion, Bulgaria has the least challenges that hinder the absorption of funds after 2016, Dobrinka Krasteva, head of the " Programming the EU funds" informed. Accordingly, our country will be able to rely on funding measures for job creation, investment in human capacity according to market demand, improvement in the quality of the workforce, labor mobility and promotion of the employment of young people and adults.
4. Education and Science
In order not to lose money on the new OP for education and science, it takes a complete optimization of the system, Kristeva said. Priorities are improving the quality of education, promotion of lifelong learning, availability of educational infrastructure and linking learning to the labor market.
Bulgaria is most backward in the conditions in the health sector, Kristeva said. By the end of 2013, there should be a clear reform for the funding of the system and the optimization of patient care. Appropriate investments should only come following that, Kristeva noted.
6. Innovation and IT
The strategy for promoting innovation should be also ready by the end of this year. By December 2013 the overall strategy for e-governance must be completed. Among the main objectives of Bulgaria in the next programming period are a strategy for public administration and the improvement of the effectiveness and efficiency of the judiciary and public administration.