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“We are moderately optimistic that the equation presented today by the Commission is a possible version of a multi-annual financial framework which had been discussed informally with the Member States at different stages of its preparation”. This is how the Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov commented on the draft common EU budget for the 2021 – 2027 period announced today by the Commission. According to him, the Commission’s task had been quite challenging in the context of the need to meet Brexit and the decreased participation of the United Kingdom in the common EU budget. 

Chairing the Council of the EU, Bulgaria would make all efforts to bring forward the MFF debate as much as possible which would be launched as early as on 14 May at the General Affairs Council, Minister Goranov specified. He said that with regard to the total amount of the budget there was a small nominal increase in the overall expenditures amounting to EUR 1.134 thrillion for the whole period.

“It is still early to comment where Bulgaria stands among these figures since the Commission has not yet produced the individual packages by state. Certainly, what has started sneaking as initial analyses is not quite accurate and the Bulgarian interests are sufficiently protected”, the Finance Minister was firm. The Minister said that “in general, in terms of a framework, our contribution increases, but it increases not because of a change in the mechanism that is used to form the EU budget, but because of the fact that the Bulgarian GDP increases, the GNI also increases and this is the only factor due to which we will be expecting any changes in Bulgaria’s contribution in the coming years”.

In relation to the individual spending policies Minister Goranov commented that an attempt had been made to preserve the two main pillars of the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy in so far as that was possible in the framework of the introduction of new policies to the budget and in the context of Brexit. According to the Minister, it was still early to make assessments in one or the other direction as the debate on the MFF was at a too early stage.

“I would like to avoid a situation where the MFF would have to be adopted by the next Parliament, with a newly elected European Commission, and for this reason the Bulgarian Presidency will make every effort in that direction” Goranov said.  

Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev said that “this budget is a balanced one and forms a good basis for negotiation”. He underlined that in our remaining time as Presidency he expected the alignment of positions and the negotiations to be at full speed. The Deputy Prime Minister also said that there would be a major Cohesion Policy event in June, which would contribute to those negotiations. Tomislav Donchev was adamant that “no significant change in the volume of funding for Bulgaria is expected on any of the key policies”.

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