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Delegation from the European Parliament’s Committee for Regional Development is on a Visit to Bulgaria
Sofia, September 30, 2008

A delegation from the European Parliament’s Committee for Regional Development, headed by its chairman Mr. Gerardo Galeote is visiting Bulgaria between September 30 and October 2, 2008.
The delegation held meetings with members of the Local Self-Government, Regional Policy and Urban Development
Committee, the Permanent Subcommittee on the Utilization of the EU Funds and the Budget and Finance Committee of the Bulgarian parliament.

The European parliamentarians conferred with the Minister of Regional and Urban Development and with the Deputy Ministers of Transport, of the Environment and Waters and with high officials from the administration in charge with regional policy and structural funds issues.

Following the meetings in the Bulgarian parliament, Gerardo Galeote made a statement for media representatives. He stressed that the aim of the visit is to evaluate the potential of Bulgaria to absorb EU funds at the amount of 1 billion euro annually for the period 2007-2013. On his words, the funds during this period would exceed five times those already invested in Bulgaria. He expressed his true confidence that his social and economic partners in Bulgaria would succeed and overcome the difficulties connected with the allocation and the use of the funds in such a way that will give Bulgarian society the opportunity to benefit in full from these funds, intended particularly for Bulgaria.

We look forward to the report of the European Commission in October and we hope that the problems reported in July have been solved and the frozen funds will be released and absorbed by Bulgaria, added Mr. Galeote.

The delegation is scheduled to visit Gorna Oryahovitsa, where is the site of a project funded under PHARE program for the “Improvement of the quality of life of people with mental disabilities”, and another one funded under ISPA for a “Regional plant for purification of waste waters in Gorna Oryahovitsa, Dolna Oryahovitsa and Liaskovets.

The delegation from the European Union will also visit Varna and meet with the town’s Mayor.

The representatives of the Committee for Regional development are scheduled to meet their social and economic partners in Bulgaria on Thursday, October 2, 2008.
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