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ope@moew.government.bg
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May 5, 2010

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION SUPPORTED THE CORRECTIVE MEASURES IN OPE WATER SECTOR

The European Commission supports the corrective measures regarding the investment projects in the water sector undertaken by the Managing Authority of Operational Programme Environment 2007 - 2013. The letter of Dirk Ahner, Director General of the European Commission's DG Regional Policy, to Deputy Minister Ivelina Vasileva expresses the appreciation of the Commission services with the methodology and approach taken in connection with the performed screening of water investments co-financed by the Cohesion Fund. There is a high appreciation of the corrective measures with respect to nonpriority and inefficient projects in a very difficult period when public procurement procedures have already been announced and contracts on the implementation of activities have been signed.

Based on the performed screening, the Commission has approved the termination of 37 projects as follows: 32 projects - Technical Assistance for development of investment projects under priority axis 1 of Operational Programme Environment 2007 - 2013; 5 projects of the municipalities Dulovo, Kaolinovo, Kardzhali, Svoge and Straldzha for improvement and development of water and wastewater infrastructure. The financial resources of the cancelled projects may be re-allocated to others that are considered to be in compliance with the financial requirements of priority axis 1 under OPE.

Therefore, the MA's decision to withdraw the financing is based on the performed screening stating that the above-mentioned projects, totally or partially, do not meet the principles of efficacy, effectivness and efficiency and as well as the requirements of Directive 91/271/EEC. The activities undertaken by MOEW aim to avoid financial corrections on behalf of the European Commission with total or partial cancellation of the Community financing following the provisions of Regulation (EC) 1083/2006.

According to Mr. Ahner, the problems identified in the water sector have already been solved and the certification of payments under priority axis 1 may start again for projects meeting the sound financial management principle.