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Bulgaria is a responsible and stable EU Member State, Bulgarian EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said during the 7th annual meeting between Bulgarian government and the business. The meeting went under the motto “Big questions for 2013.” Entrepreneurs demanded measures for better business climate in the country, while the government vowed to provide stability. Bulgaria could absorb 45 billion euro by 2020, Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev has announced. He also proposed a national package of measures for the absorption of available EU funds to be created. All political parties should reach an agreement over the Bulgaria 2020 Strategy.  The aim is the strategy to remain the same if governments changed. The plan also aims at Bulgaria absorbing 2.5 billion euro annually. Here is more from President Plevneliev.

“First I would like to say that European Funds for Bulgaria in the period 2007-2013 total 11.4 billion euro. 33% of the finances have already been absorbed. Euro funds for Bulgaria in the period 2014-2020 will be at least 12 billion euro,” President Plevneliev said. He also counts on foreign investments and growing economy. We are living in a difficult period and there is a lot of work to be done, Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said. According to her, crisis has led to lower trust in business and the government. Still, Georgieva assessed highly the increased absorption of EU funds. “Bulgaria has problems with implementing structural reforms and improving the business climate,” Ms. Georgieva says. “The shadow of doubt affects both business and government.”

Minister of Finance Simeon Djankov vowed to keep low taxes and take measures for improving the business climate. Minister Djankov pointed out that the major risk for the Bulgarian economy is its dependence on the economic development of the EU. European problems affect Bulgaria but we are to take measures to minimize negative effects, the Minister said. One of the first measures is Budget 2013. “Forecasts by the EC and the World Bank show that 2013 will be similar to 2012, just slightly better,” Minister Djankov says. “Bulgaria exports mainly to Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and that is why the condition of these markets affects Bulgarian economy. Djankov also pointed out the fact that budget 2013 is planned on a 1.2%. Economy growth while the EC expects a 1.4% growth in 2013.

English version: Alexander Markov

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