Managing Authority
67, William Gladstone Str.
1000 Sofia
Fax: +359 2 988 4820
banner_1 banner_1

Dec 12, 2014


The Central Mineral Baths venue hosted the annual information event presenting the progress of the Environment Operational Programme 2007-2013 (Environment OP). It was attended by Minister of Environment and Water Ivelina Vassileva, Deputy Minister of Environment and Water Boyko Malinov, the Head of the Environment OP's MA Yana Georgieva, heads of managing authorities of operational programmes, representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Water and beneficiaries.

Opening the event, the Director General of the Environment OP Directorate General, Yana Georgieva, pointed out that the past year had been difficult for the programme's managing authority, beneficiaries and partners. She highlighted that despite the difficulties the programme encountered, the implementation of projects vital to the environment and the improvement of the quality of life of citizens continued.

Environment Minister Ivelina Vassileva presented the outcome of the Environment OP 2007-2013. She pointed out that currently 243 projects are underway under the programme, 200 have been completed. The total budget amounts to nearly BGN 3.5 billion. It is distributed among the priority axes focusing on the most significant goals in environmental protection and water policy. These are the construction of environmental infrastructure in the Water and Waste sectors and those related to preservation, maintenance and management of protected areas.

Minister Vassileva said that the past year was not easy in terms of the OP implementation. ‘The work on the operational programme is a serious challenge for our beneficiaries, but our joint efforts over the years have helped us successfully overcome obstacles and move forward. After the restart of payments under the OP, in November and December alone, nearly BGN 114 million was paid. By the end of the year, another BGN 175 million is expected to be paid; hence, the total amount of disbursements will amount to nearly BGN 2.65 billion,’ Ivelina Vassileva said.

She pointed out that currently, the projects completed and commissioned in the Water sector are already serving 250 thousand people. ‘Thanks to them, residents benefit with better living conditions. This has reduced loss of water through the supply network. A large part of the population of Bulgaria already has access to a sewage system,’ said Ivelina Vassileva. The Minister pointed out the landfills commissioned serve a population of around 1.35 million and projects under implementation will bring this number to about 2.9 million.

Vassileva reassured that the policy aiming to improve air quality receives support. Measures taken only by Sofia Municipality have resulted in a five-fold decrease in fine particles air pollution in populated areas. Another four major cities - Pleven, Stara Zagora, Varna and Burgas - have replaced public transport vehicles by new trolleybuses and this measure helps improve air quality in the regions. Deliveries included also all 20 trams, 10 metro trains, 46 buses out of 126, and all 100 trolleybuses.

‘The Ministry of Interior currently uses equipment to handle flooding damage and aftermath purchased under the Environment Operational Programme 2007-2013. The OP is supporting activities dealing with the damage in flooded areas in Galabovo’, Minister Vassileva added.

In conclusion, she thanked Yana Georgieva, the Director General of Environment OP Directorate General, and the team of the OP's Managing Authority for the efforts made as well as beneficiaries which despite all the difficulties continued their work on projects.