Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Bulgaria
BULGARIA SUPPORTS THE INCREASE IN EU BUDGET FUNDS FOR COMPETITIVENESS, GROWTH AND EMPLOYMENT
The European Commission presented the EU 2013 draft budget at the ECOFIN Council meeting held on 15 May 2012. The Commission plans to increase payments by 6.8% especially for the policies promoting competitiveness, growth and employment. Cohesion policy funds are planned to increase by 11.7% compared to the EU 2012 budget.
Bulgaria took active part in the preparation of a statement on the need to increase cohesion policy payments within the EU 2013 annual budget. The statement has also been supported by Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Malta and Croatia. It highlights the importance of the cohesion policy for ensuring growth and jobs in the EU in the context of fiscal consolidation, as well as the need to increase budget payments for this policy in order to cover investment already made in the Member States under the EU Structural funds. Greece also joined the statement at the meeting itself. EU cohesion policy funds are the main source of growth and jobs within the Union's Growth Strategy.
In its presentation during the meeting, Bulgaria supported not only the cohesion policy but the proposed increase in CAP funds. Our country identified administration costs and EU external action as the possible areas of cutting expenses.
The Council should approve its opinion on the 2013 budget until July 2012, with the European Parliament expected to deliver its opinion on the budget at the end of October. Should the opinions of both budgetary bodies vary significantly, there will be a three-week compromise procedure.