Following the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulgaria’s recovery and resilience plan has responded to the urgent need to foster a strong recovery, while making Bulgaria’s economy and society more resilient and future ready. In response to the energy market disruption caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Commission launched the REPowerEU Plan. The Recovery and Resilience Facility is at the heart of its implementation and its funding. Under REPowerEU, EU countries are updating their recovery and resilience plans with new measures to save energy and diversify the EU’s energy supplies.
Focusing on green technologies and capacities - sustainable mobility, energy efficiency and renewables, climate change adaptation; circular economy; and biodiversity.
Policies for the next generation
Improving access to and the quality of general, vocational, and higher education; focusing on digital education, early childhood education and care; supporting youth employment.
Smart, sustainable, inclusive growth
promoting entrepreneurship, competitiveness, industrialisation; improving the business environment; fostering research, development and innovation, supporting small- and medium-sized businesses.
Promoting the roll-out of very high-capacity networks, the digitalisation of public services, government processes, and businesses, in particular SMEs; developing basic and advanced digital skills; supporting digital-related R&D and the deployment of advanced technologies.
Social and territorial cohesion
Improving social and territorial infrastructure and services, including social protection and welfare systems, the inclusion of disadvantaged groups; supporting employment and skills development; creating high-quality, stable jobs.
Health and economic, social and institutional resilience
Improving the resilience, accessibility and quality of health and long-term care, including measures to advance their digitalisation; increasing the effectiveness of public administration systems.
The map exclusively serves information purposes and is not an exhaustive database of projects supported by the Recovery and Resilience Facility. It does not reflect the distribution of the projects funded by the Recovery and Resilience Facility across the European Union, nor across different geographical areas or sectors within EU Member States. The RRF funding amounts shown for measures are based on the initial cost estimates included in the recovery and resilience plans.
Furthermore, the projects showcased are without prejudice to any future assessment by the Commission in the context of verifying the satisfactory fulfilment of milestones and targets under Regulation (EU) 2021/241 establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
*This value includes also the part of the plan which is financed with national resources.
- 56 investment streams and 47 reforms
- 58.9% of the plan will support climate objectives
- 25.8% of the plan will foster the digital transition
The transformative impact of Bulgaria’s plan is the result of a strong combination of reforms and investments which address the country’s specific challenges. The reforms address bottlenecks to lasting and sustainable growth, while investments are targeted at the green and digital transitions, to strengthen economic and social resilience and the cohesion of the single market. In particular, Bulgaria’s plan will accelerate the decarbonisation of the energy sector, promote the large-scale deployment of digital infrastructure, including in rural areas, as well as support investments in improving the business environment, education and skills, research and innovation, social protection and healthcare.
All measures have to be implemented within a tight time frame, as the Regulation establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility requires all milestones and targets within the national plans to be completed by August 2026.
In the area of climate and environmental policies, Bulgaria’s challenges include the decarbonisation of the power sector, fostering clean and efficient production and use of energy and resources, improving the energy efficiency of the building stock, making the transport sector more sustainable and ensuring the protection and restoration of ecosystems.
Key measures for the green transition
- The plan supports the green transition through ambitious reforms.
- Adoption of a clear framework for the coal phaseout and binding commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions of the power sector by 40% by 2025;
- Accelerating the deployment of renewable energy sources;
- Market liberalisation of the wholesale and retail electricity markets, governance reforms, as well as the removal of financial and regulatory bottlenecks for energy efficiency investments.
- Investments (€1.7 billion) in renewable energy sources, electricity storage and interconnection capacities and in energy-efficiency renovation of the building stock (over €1 billion).
- In the area of transport, the plan includes a sizeable allocation (€666 million) to decarbonisation measures such as the introduction new electric rolling stock for sub-urban and inter-regional rail transport; the construction of a new section of the Sofia metro; sustainable urban mobility pilot scheme with purchase of zero-emission public transport vehicles and charging station infrastructure.
- Dedicated measures in the area of biodiversity aim to protect and restore ecosystems and natural habitats and species (€48 million).
With an investment of EUR 924 million from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the Bulgarian plan supports a comprehensive national scheme for energy efficiency renovation of residential, public and commercial buildings.
- Project locations
Digital challenges for Bulgaria include insufficient connectivity through very high-capacity networks, low offer and uptake of digital public services, low level of digital skills and limited uptake of digital technologies by enterprises.
Key measures for the digital transition
Bulgaria’s recovery and resilience plan supports the digital transition with investments and reforms aimed at increasing the coverage of very high-capacity networks across the country.
- Investment in rural and sparsely populated areas (€270 million).
- Investments to enhance digital skills (€319 million).
- Investments in the digitalisation of public administration and the provision of digital public services in key areas such as justice, health, employment and social protection (€297 million).
- Investments supporting the digitalisation of businesses (€15.7 million), as well as of the transport (€202.6 million) and energy sectors (€75.7 million).
The objective of the investment, financed with close to EUR 165 million from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, is to improve the up- and re-skilling of the workforce, with a focus on digital skills.
- Project locations
Economic and social resilience
Key challenges with an impact on Bulgaria’s medium-term economic performance include improving the quality of institutions and fighting corruption, addressing labour and skills shortages as well as skills mismatches relative to the labour market needs, improving the quality, inclusiveness and labour market relevance of education and training, improving access to integrated employment and social services and more effective minimum income support, strengthening the resilience, accessibility and capacityof the health system.
Key measures in reinforcing economic and social resilience
The plan contains a set of reforms and investments that reinforce economic and social resilience.
- It includes comprehensive anti-corruption measures, including reforms to ensure the accountability and criminal liability of the Prosecutor General, strengthened anti-corruption institutions and increased transparency and competition in public procurement, support for e-justice,better governance of state-owned enterprises (€71 million).
- The plan also foresees the creation of industry parks (€111 million) and a large-scale economic transformation programmeto support the technological modernisation of SMEs and mid-caps, notably their green and digital transitions (€801 million).
- Investments in modernising education and enhancing research and innovation (€748 million).
- The plan aims at strengthening the adequacy and coverage of the minimum income scheme, improving the provision of employment and social services and their integration, as well as modernising long-term care with a focus on people with disabilities and older people (€440 million).
- Modernisation of hospitals and medical facilities, establishing an air ambulance system, the construction of outpatient care units in remote and under-served regions, to improve access to healthcare (€372 million).
- The 2022 Annual Event on Bulgaria’s recovery and resilience plan took place on 15 November 2022.
- Participants included the European Commission, the Government of Bulgaria, and a broad range of stakeholders, including social partners and NGOs.
- The discussions focused on the progress in the implementation of Bulgaria’s recovery and resilience plan and the way ahead, the green transition and the plan’s response to existing and emerging challenges, as well as the opportunities for citizens and businesses.
Bulgaria’s plan is consistent with the challenges and priorities identified in the European Semester, the annual cycle of coordination and monitoring of each EU country’s economic policies. For a detailed explanation of the European Semester see the following link: The European Semester explained | European Commission (europa.eu)
Original Recovery and Resilience Plan (May 2022)
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