The EU cohesion policy has been a major driver of change in Bulgaria for the last 10 years. Since its EU accession in 2007, Bulgaria has benefited from the Union’s Structural Funds at an increased speed - these funds has contributed significantly to the Bulgarian economy with positive effects on employment, economic development, modernization of infrastructure, etc.
In the period 2007-2013 the EU funding amounted to 9% of the total budget expenditure and contributed to 80% of the country’s public investments.
The EU funds have helped the country to:
- Create more than 1,300 jobs;
- Cover over 280,000 people with waste water solutions;
- Empower more than 137,000 citizens and upgrade their vocational qualification and over 178,000 people acquired key competencies;
- Several big transport infrastructure projects (including Sofia metro extension, Trakiya Motorway, Sofia Airport);
- Improve urban transport for 1,289,744 citizens, mainly in the 6 biggest cities (Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Pleven, Stara Zagora);
- Improve educational infrastructure for over 30,000 students and pupils;
- Enable more than 398,000 m² of renovated parks, pedestrian areas, bicycle lanes, playgrounds;
- Provide scholarships to 172,000 students;
- Provide social services in a family environment for more than 51,000citizens;
- Iinvest in energy saving measures in public buildings and schools
Being a member of the European Union for 10 years now in 2018 Bulgaria faces the challenge for the EU Presidency. Moreover, Bulgaria appears to be a reliable partner safeguarding the external borders of the European Union. This is an activity that has been granted funding by different financial instruments such as the Schengen Facility, External Borders Fund and currently the Internal Security Fund. Those funds along with the European Structural Funds are the areas of greatest interest to Schuman Associates’ clients in Bulgaria and also the areas where our clients are most active and successful.