SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Brussels has given the green light to Bulgaria’s European Union-funded recovery and sustainability plan, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during a visit to Sofia on Thursday.
The Balkan country is among the last EU members to get formal approval for its plan under the bloc’s €800 billion post-pandemic rescue fund, due to months of political turmoil and several inconclusive elections.
Von der Leyen said Thursday’s approval marks “an important milestone towards the disbursement … of 6.3 billion euros (US$6.9 billion) over the next years.”
Von der Leyen called Bulgaria’s plan “outstanding” as almost 60% of its total resources support green transition, and it is aimed at diversifying energy supplies so that Bulgaria will cease to be dependent on Russian coal, gas and oil, and diversify towards other suppliers.
She also outlined the plan’s goals in digital transition, healthcare, and the judiciary as a step to intensify the fight against corruption.
The Commission’s positive assessment clears the way for the Council of the EU to approve the funding within the next four weeks.