Normative acts in implementation of the NATIONAL RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE PLAN OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

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After the adoption of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan of the Republic Of Bulgaria, approved by the Decision of the Council of Ministers, we expected the adoption of specific legal acts to ensure the use of the funds from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism in accordance with the principle of good financial management. In this regard, in June 2022 we can already indicate such a normative act, which defines the rules for providing funds to the final recipients, as well as a draft normative act for determining the bodies and structures responsible for the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan of the Republic Of Bulgaria.

  1. Decree of the Council of Ministers No. 114/08.06.2022. for determining detailed rules for providing funds to final recipients from the Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism (promulgated SG No. 43 of 10.06.2022).

As a first step, Decree of the Council of Ministers No. 114/08.06.2022 was adopted. for determining detailed rules for providing funds to final recipients from the Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism (promulgated SG No. 43 of 10.06.2022.).

The decree defines:

  • detailed rules for providing funds to the final recipients under the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, hereinafter referred to as the “Mechanism”, for the implementation of investments, the management and control of which is carried out by a monitoring and reporting structure based on an agreement concluded with the Deputy Minister the Chairman of the European Funds and the Minister of Finance operational agreement;
  • the composition of the commission for the assessment of investments in the case of a procedure through selection and a procedure through the direct provision of funds, the requirements for the persons participating in it, as well as the rules for the work of the commission;
  • the requirements for persons verifying received objections;
  • the conditions for concluding a financing contract with the final recipients of funds and for the amendment of a concluded contract;
  • rules for providing information and publicity in the provision of funds from the Mechanism.

It is envisaged that for each selection procedure the head of the monitoring and reporting structure shall adopt guidelines defining:

  • the conditions for applying to receive funds from the Mechanism;
  • the conditions for the implementation of the approved investments.
  1. Decree of the Council of Ministers No. 157 of July 7, 2022, to determine the bodies and structures responsible for the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience plan of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Again, in connection with the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plan of the Republic of Bulgaria, on 07.07.2022, Resolution No. 157 of the Council of Ministers was adopted to determine the bodies and structures responsible for the implementation of the Plan and their main functions.

With the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2021/241 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12/02/2021 establishing a Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (RRM, the Mechanism), an obligation was established for Member States to take appropriate measures to ensure that that the use of funds in relation to measures supported by the Facility is in accordance with applicable Union and national law. Until now, there was no legal act that would define the bodies and structures responsible for the implementation of the Plan, their main functions, the hiring of employees with specific expertise to ensure the activities of management and implementation of the investments in the Plan, the measures that should be taken, are precisely the creation of such a national regulation of public relations. One is already available.

The Decree aims to fill a gap in the national legislation by defining the bodies and structures responsible for the implementation of the Plan and clearly distinguishing the participants in the process and their responsibilities, through the establishment of a unified management and control system, the introduction of operational agreements and the creation of an expert-advisory board for monitoring the progress of the implementation of the Plan.

The Decree regulates that the Deputy Prime Minister for European Funds and the Minister of Finance and the heads of the responsible departments and organizations according to Annex No. 1 to the Decree are responsible for the implementation of the approved National recovery and resilience plan, within which there are certain structures for monitoring and reporting, monitoring structures and final recipients under the Plan.

A final recipient is a natural or legal person, or their association, which implements a specific investment under the Plan. The final recipients are defined in Annex No. 1 or in accordance with Decree of the Council of Ministers No. 114/08.06.2022. for determining detailed rules for providing funds to final recipients from the Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism (promulgated SG No. 43 of 10.06.2022.).

On 01.08.2022, Bulgaria signed an agreement on Operational Arrangements with the European Commission. This is the last necessary agreement in relation to the NATIONAL RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE PLAN OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA before the country submits a formal request to receive funds under the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The operational agreement further specifies the responsible institutions, the method of verification for the achievement of the agreed goals and practical issues regarding the method of cooperation in monitoring the implementation of the Plan.

A Financial Agreement has already been signed and ratified, all legislative measures related to the first payment have been implemented, an information system has been built and an internal regulatory framework has been developed and adopted for the implementation of reforms and investments, including a Management and Control System.

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