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Approximately EUR 585 million have been absorbed so far for successful projects under PHARE Program for Bulgaria. The implementation of PHARE Program and the Transition Facility continues; their total budget as of 31 May 2009 was approximately EUR 200 million. These are the data from the report on the status of implementation of PHARE Program and the Transition Facility, presented today, 15 July 2009, at the Ministry of Finance by the National Aid Coordinator Mr. Lyubomir Datzov during the 14th meeting of the Joint Monitoring Committee of PHARE Program and the Transition Facility.

The Joint Monitoring Committee is the supreme body responsible for the control and monitoring of the implementation of PHARE Program and the Transition Facility in regard to the attainment of their objectives in the areas of justice and home affairs; public administration reform; finance and strengthening of the institutions in charge of EU funds management; economic and social cohesion; regional road infrastructure; harmonization with EU legislation on agriculture and environment; strengthening of cross-border cooperation; measures in the area of nuclear safety.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the team for Bulgaria at DG Enlargement of the European Commission, led by the Head of the Unit in charge of the financial implementation of the pre-accession program Mr. Jaime Garcia Lombardero; the structures of the National Aid Coordinator for Bulgaria and the National Authorizing Officer - Deputy Ministers of Finance Mr. Lyubomir Datzov and Mr. Dimiter Ivanovski, respectively; the program authorizing officers and the heads of the Sectoral Monitoring Sub-committees.

The participants discussed the results from the monitoring and the assessment of the programs, the application of the procedures for irregularity recording, reporting and follow-up in the course of implementation of individual projects. The representatives of the Commission pointed out that there was positive development in the management and control of projects funded under PHARE Program, and estimated highly the work of the National Aid Coordinator and the National Authorizing Officer. In the course of the meeting the attendants discussed the possibilities of streamlining the monitoring system and the control mechanisms in view of the closure of implementation of PHARE program for Bulgaria at the end of the current year.

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