Economic and Financial Policy Directorate

Director of the Directorate
Georgi Chukalev

Contact details:

102 “G. S. Rakovski” Str.
1040 Sofia, Bulgaria
telephone: (+359) 2/9859 2430

e-mail: Embedded Image  

I.         DIRECTORATE'S TASK

The Economic and Financial Policy Directorate of the Ministry of Finance provides analytical support and is responsible for the coordination of policies and the effective representation of the Ministry of Finance and the executive authorities on economic and financial affairs within the European Union. It develops and upgrades macroeconomic models for forecasting and analysis of alternative scenarios and long-term equilibrium analysis as well as for impact assessment of the implementation of national and European strategic documents.

II.      EUROPEAN UNION BUDGET DIVISION

A. TASK

Responsible for the formulation of Bulgaria's position in view to effectively protect national interests during the negotiations on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and in the context of the EU annual budget procedure. Organises the fulfilment of all commitments of Bulgaria in the area of own resources of the EU and participates therein within its competencies. Responsible for, coordinates and participates in the preparation of positions within the competence of the MoF on legislative proposals of the European Commission in the area of EU budget.

B. FUNCTIONS

1. Performs analyses and conducts assessments of the European Commission's proposal on the new EU Multiannual Financial Framework and the legislative package and of the Presidency's proposal for a position of the Council of the EU. Prepares Bulgaria's position regarding the negotiations on the adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and is actively involved at technical level therein, prepares and participates in consultations and international meetings on the topic, prepares information and presentations. Performs the functions of a secretariat of a working group/subgroup in connection with the negotiations on the MFF and coordinates the approval of Bulgaria's positions.

2. Responsible for preparing estimates for the allocation of MFF resources by Member States, including Bulgaria; develops simulation models for the financial effects on Bulgaria by policies, programmes, regions and years; conducts an assessment of these effects in the course of the negotiations based on comparative analyses against other Member States; calculates the net balance for Bulgaria in view of the maximum protection of the country's interests in the negotiations on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework.

3. Responsible for preparing positions and comments on the MFF-related legislative package (MFF Regulation, Interinstitutional Agreement), for preparing a position on the review of the functioning of the MFF and the accompanying Commission proposal amending the MFF Regulation, for preparing a position on the proposals for technical adjustments to the MFF.

4. Prepares and coordinates positions, analyses, information, comments on the draft annual EU budget in connection with the procedure for its adoption, the ongoing implementation and the control of the annual EU budgets, as well as with the procedure for the discharge of the European Commission for the implementation of the EU general budget and the protection of the financial interests of the EU. Participates in the elaboration of Bulgaria's position on the Commission proposal on the triennial revision of the Financial Regulation and coordinates the work thereon of the experts from the ad hoc working group set up for the purpose. Prepares positions and comments on the draft regulation amending the Regulation on the Staff Regulations and the related working documents on the expenditure on the staff of the European institutions.

5. Performs the functions of a Coordination Unit for the implementation of the system of own resources of the European Community in Bulgaria and keeps contact with the European Commission in this regard. Organises and controls the monthly payment of Bulgaria's contribution to the EU general budget within the prescribed time limits; carries out its recording and reporting to the Commission; coordinates the preparation of information upon request by the Commission in connection with its inspections of own resources (traditional own resources, VAT-based resources and GNI-based resources) in Bulgaria and ensures its timely communication; prepares references and information in relation to Bulgaria's contribution to the EU general budget.

6. Analyses the Commission's legislative package on the reform of the system of own resources of the EU budget in the context of the negotiations on the MFF; makes proposals for positions and comments on the documents; participates in the work of the WP on Own Resources to the Council of the EU; proposes changes to the national legislation and, when necessary, updates the Manual on the System of Own Resources.

7. Prepares the triennial and annual forecasts for Bulgaria's contribution to the EU general budget and prepares references on the expected monthly contributions in the context of the national budget procedure.

8. Participates in the meetings of the Advisory Committee on Own Resources (ACOR), organises and coordinates the preparation of information on the forecast data on VAT and GNI bases for the following budget year and sends it to the Commission.

9. Prepares comments and positions on the documents on the agenda of the meetings of the Budget Committee to the Council of the EU, the WP on Staff Regulations to the Council of the EU, the WP "Friends of the Presidency - MFF", the WG on Combating Fraud and, when necessary, participates in the meetings of COREPER, ECOFIN, ECOFIN/Budget and the General Affairs Council and the EU Council on issues related to the EU budget (annual and multi-annual), the Staff Regulations and the own resources of the EU budget. Coordinates the positions on the issues within the competence of the Ministry related to the negotiations on the enlargement of the EU.

10. Performs the functions of a secretariat of Working Group 28 "Financial and Budgetary Affairs" to the Council for European Affairs and guides its work. Prepares and coordinates framework positions, positions, opinions and guidelines on draft legislative acts and coordinates, in accordance with its competence, the positions of other working groups to the Council for European Affairs.

III.   MACROECONOMIC AND FISCAL MANAGEMENT IN THE EU DIVISION

A. TASK

Responsible for the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact and for the compliance with EU legislation in the field of fiscal governance. Coordinates Bulgaria's preparation for euro area accession. Organises the drafting, approval and successful presentation of Bulgaria's positions within the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC).

B. FUNCTIONS

1. Monitors compliance with the rules laid down in the Stability and Growth Pact, the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the other legal acts for strengthened coordination of the economic and fiscal policies of EU Member States.

2. In accordance with the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact and its implementing rules, elaborates annually, in close cooperation with the competent units of the Ministry of Finance and the competent ministries and institutions, an updated version of the Convergence Programme of the Republic of Bulgaria and submits the latter to the European Commission within the deadlines of the European Semester.

3. Monitors the performance of the indicators laid down in Regulation 1466/1997 in connection with the medium-term budgetary objective for the structural deficit, the expenditure and the debt rules and the other provisions of the Regulation. Coordinates the work, prepares the necessary information and cooperates with the European Commission in case of potential launching of an excessive deficit procedure against Bulgaria under Regulation 1467/1997.

4. Coordinates the actions following the activation of the correction mechanisms under the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the EMU and the relevant national legislation.

5. Monitors and analyses the functioning of the Economic and Monetary Union and drafts reasoned positions for the participation of the Republic of Bulgaria in the discussions regarding the future of the Economic and Monetary Union and the euro area. Participates in working groups to the EU institutions on issues in the area of EMU, economic and fiscal governance in the EU and the enlargement of the euro area.

6. Organises and participates in the practical preparation of the country for participation in the ERM II and the euro area.

7. Responsible - in organisational, expert and technical terms, for the preparation and effective participation of the Republic of Bulgaria in the monthly meetings of the Economic and Financial Committee to the Council of the EU at the Deputy Ministers of Finance level and their alternates, and drafts for this purpose reasoned positions on the topics on the agenda of the committee and coordinates them with both the competent directorates of the MoF and the competent Foreign Ministries and institutions within the working group set up for that purpose.

8. Draws up positions of the Republic of Bulgaria for the EU Council meetings at the Heads of State and Government level, as well as for the meetings of the ECOFIN Council at the Ministers of Finance level on matters within its competence.

9. Participates in the process of drafting of legislative acts concerning the harmonisation of Bulgarian legislation with EU law in the area of economic and budgetary management, and prepares the necessary information for their discussion at the National Assembly.

10. Identifies key topics and issues of its competence, resulting from the priorities of the relevant Presidency of the Council and prepares discussion papers and various policy scenarios.

11. Participates in the meetings of working groups and other preparatory bodies to the Council of the European Union dealing with the Economic and Monetary Union and the Stability and Growth Pact.

IV.    STRATEGIES AND PROGRAMS FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH DIVISION

A. TASK

Supports the Minister of Finance in his/her capacity as National Coordinator under the Europe 2020 Strategy. Coordinates the implementation of the European Semester, the Europe 2020 Strategy and Regulation (EU) No 1176/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 November 2011 on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances. Organises the drafting, approval and successful presentation of Bulgaria's positions within the Economic Policy Committee (EPC).

B. FUNCTIONS

1. On an annual basis develops and presents an updated version and reports on the implementation of the National Reform Programme of the Republic of Bulgaria in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy.

2. On an ongoing basis monitors and analyses the implementation of the measures and actions in the National Reform Programme in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy.

3. Coordinates the work on the National Reform Programme assessment and prepares Bulgaria's position on the Council conclusions that include recommendations to Bulgaria for better implementation of the Integrated Guidelines on structural policies and for prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances in line with the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 1176/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 November 2011 on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances.

4. Monitors the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 1176/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 November 2011 on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances.

5. Makes preliminary examinations of the attitudes and positions of the other EU Member States on topics sensitive for our country in the field of structural reforms related to the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy in order to find common interests and to better promote the national interests.

6. On the basis of a systematic database with information about the economic developments and the structural policies of EU Member States, makes proposals for policies and measures to be included in the National Reform Programme.

7. Coordinates and is responsible for the drafting of the positions, the preparation and approval of the documents on the agenda for the meetings of the Economic Policy Committee and of the working groups thereto.

8. As per its competence, participates in the elaboration of the positions for the European Council meetings, as well as for the meetings of the working groups and other preparatory bodies to the Council of the EU dealing with the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

9. As per its competence, monitors on an on-going basis the amendments to the EU legislation, drafts opinions and participates in the elaboration of draft legislation introducing Community law.

10. Takes part in the meetings of the working groups and other preparatory bodies to the Council of the EU dealing with the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy, as well as in bilateral meetings on the above topics.

V.      MACROECONOMIC ANALYSES AND FORECASTS DIVISION

A. TASK

Provides analytical support for the elaboration and implementation of policies through development and upgrading of models and other analytical tools, making analyses and forecasts of the key macroeconomic indicators and simulations of alternative economic policies.

B. FUNCTIONS

1. Analyses the current status, dynamics and interconnections among the key macroeconomic indicators, namely:

a. GDP and its components;

b. short-term economic activity indicators - industrial production and turnover, retail trade indices, business and consumer confidence indicators;

c. labour market, regulation thereof and effects from the policies implemented;

d. households' incomes, consumption and savings;

e. structure and change of prices;

f. money supply and demand, financial sector;

g. balance of payments, foreign trade, international investment position and foreign indebtedness of the country;

h. capital and other financial flows from and to the country, including investment;

i. budget revenue, expenditure and financing; government debt.

2. Prepares macroeconomic analyses in the following thematic fields:

a. current economic situation;

b. labour market;

c. real and financial sector;

d. public finances;

e. healthcare;

f. pension system;

g. social policy.

3. Participates in the meetings of the working groups of the Economic Policy Committee as well as in the elaboration of positions and opinions in the framework of its competences.

4. Produces forecasts for the development of key macroeconomic indicators used as a framework for government strategic documents, including the macroeconomic framework of Bulgaria's budget, and participates in the communication with international and other institutions.

5. Prepares assessments of the impact of the tax policy and the budget sector expenditure policy on the development of the national economy.

6. Prepares assessments of the observance of the medium-term budgetary objective of the country and analyses and forecasts the dynamics of the budget and macroeconomic indicators laid down in Regulation 1466/1997.

7. Follows up the changes in the external environment and the economic policy and assesses their influence on the Bulgarian economy and:

a. analyses the various macroeconomic policy options with a view to achieving long-term balanced economic growth;

b. assesses the risks related to budget performance and the framework for medium-term planning of public finances and policies, resulting from changes in the external environment or the institutional framework;

c. analyses and assesses the effects from any changes in the economic policy.

8. Creates and upgrades the models for analysis and forecasting of the economic development of the country.

9. Prepares regular publications on the development of the Bulgarian economy as well as economic studies.

10. Arranges the credit rating agencies' visits related to the preparation and updating of the country's sovereign credit rating.

VI.        NATIONAL STRATEGIES AND PROGRAMMES FOR DEVELOPMENT DIVISION

A. TASK

Provides coordination and expert support for the development, updating and monitoring of the National Development Programme: Bulgaria 2020. Monitors its consistency with the state budget and the medium-term fiscal forecast, as well as with other key national strategic documents. Conducts impact assessments of the implementation of national strategies and development programmes via econometric models and other assessment tools.

B. FUNCTIONS

1. Provides operational coordination and expert support for the analysis of the long-term national development needs and the definition of a national vision and strategic objectives and priorities.

2. Provides operational coordination and expert support for the development, updating, implementation, reporting, monitoring and control of the National Development Programme: Bulgaria 2020.

3. Follows up and ensures conditionality and additionality among the different priorities and interventions in respect of the strategic objectives laid down in the National Development Programme: Bulgaria 2020.

4. Drafts positions and expert conclusions on the consistency of different strategic documents with the National Development Programme: Bulgaria 2020.

5. Conducts impact assessments of the National Development Programme: Bulgaria 2020 and other national and EU - related strategic documents on the economic development of the country.

6. Coordinates the process of legislation drafting, provides methodological support and general guidelines in the field of strategic programming.

7. Sees to ensuring consistency between the implementation of the strategic priorities set out in the National Development Programme: Bulgaria 2020 and the parameters of the medium-term budget forecast for the relevant period and the state budget of the Republic of Bulgaria for the relevant year.

8. Conducts assessments of alternative sources of financing for projects of strategic importance for the country.

9. Supports the Minister of Finance in his/her capacity as National Coordinator under the Investment Plan for Europe.

VII.   ECOFIN AND COORDINATION DIVISION

A. TASK

Presentation of Bulgaria's positions within the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN). Reporting of the expenses of representatives of the Bulgarian institutions participating in meetings of the working groups to the Council of the European Union.

B. FUNCTIONS

1. Coordinates the fulfilment of the tasks related to the preparation and approval of the documents on the agenda and the reporting of the outcome from the ECOFIN meetings.

2. Arranges the presentation of brief information about Bulgaria's position for ECOFIN meetings to the relevant addressees at the embassies of EU Member States to Bulgaria and at the Bulgarian embassies to the EU Member States.

3. Prepares the "Key Economic and Political Decisions in the EU" bulletin.

4. Organises the drafting of information and positions on economic and financial affairs discussed by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) and by the European Council.

5. Maintains a database with documents, positions and reports from ECOFIN, COREPER and European Council meetings as well as reports from the participation of representatives of the MoF in meetings of the relevant working groups to the Council and the Commission; maintains a database about the authorized representatives of the Ministry in the working groups to the EU institutions.

6. Coordinates and participates in the elaboration of information, draft positions and documents required for the information and pre-court stages of the proceedings under Articles 258 and 259 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in the areas of competence of the Directorate.

7. Performs the functions of a Coordination Unit under the procedure of Section VI of the Ordinance on Business Travel and Specialisation Abroad, being responsible for the centralized reporting and storage of documents on the expenses incurred in connection with the participation of Bulgarian delegates in the meetings of the working groups to the Council of the European Union and for the reporting of these expenses to the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union in accordance with the existing Decision of the Secretary-General of the Council concerning reimbursement of travel expenses of delegates of Member States.

8. Organises the Directorate's participation in the drafting of the State Budget of the Republic of Bulgaria Act and in the preparation of the programme budget of the MoF.