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Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:38 pm
by scot47
I was involved in a EU-funded project before accession to the EU. From my experience I would say that you MUST have local clout and Bulgarians working with you.

EU funding

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:41 pm
by Abz
You're not entirely right.
The EU is directly invloved with all its EU funded projects, the EU gives the money, not the BG government. If projects aren't correctly applied for then the EU doesn't give the money. If the money isn't spent on what it should be, the EU demand it back. They're very strict about this. There is a municipality in Northern Bulgaria which has to give money back to the EU as it wasn't spent correctly.

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:52 pm
by Mat
Pre-accession, yes. But not post accession. Once a country becomes a member state it takes over all the administration of the EU funds. It manages the funds according to national legislation and then every year applies for reimbursement from the Commission. It is possible for the Commission to refuse to pay if the funds are not correctly accounted for (this happened to the UK recently) but then the administration would have to try and claw the money back from the recipient. The Commission's Delegation has already become a Representation - essentially an information office.

Its my experience that money on EU projects is sometimes clawed back if the project has not been run according to the rules (as I noted in myoriginal post) but my experience is also that most bidders factor this into their pricing.


Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:57 pm
by Abz
anyway, to get back to the origional question, form weegie, it's worth him considering EU funding for his business. Scott is right, he/she will need to have Bulgarians invloved.

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:05 pm
by Simonita
A lot of good advice here. There will be substantial amounts of EU money coming Bulgaria's way. The BG share of Regional development funding (the Cohesion Fund, ESF and ERDF) for 2007-2013 adds up to Eur 6.8 billion at todays prices (about Eur 900 per Bulgarian). There will also be substantial amounts from the "Preservation and Management of Natural Resources" part of the budget which includes the CAP. Much of this funding is targeted at areas which will greatly benefit Bulgaria, such as infrastructure (esp transport), employment, rural development, conservation (Natura 2000) and cross-border cooperation (Pelican's project ticks a couple of the right boxes here!). The way in which "pre-entry" EU money has been used (for example the redevelopment of Sofia Airport) shows the likely priorities.

The UK is unlikely to actually start spending 2007-2013 Regional development funding much before 2008. BG may be behind the UK in its planning and preparations.

There are particular problems with state/EU grants to employers and businesses since they distort the Single Market. This is partly why BG Air has been privatised. As Mat suggests, State Aids are a complex area and you need specialist advice on this.

EU funding is designed to supplement, not replace, domestic funding. It has to be "match funded" by private or public money according to fixed proportions. This is another reason why you will need BG partners.

Bidding for EU money is complex and needs to conform to regulations and policies. In the UK, it is common to use professional "bid writers", and as Mat advises, you would be wise to do the same.

The EU has to approve the spending plans of member states, and although the money is paid out by the governments, the spend is subject to audit by not only the EU itself but also the European Court of Auditors. The EU can and does take money back, including if it is not spent quickly enough (the "N" target).

Posted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:22 pm
by Cameo
Can anyone update us on the state of EU funding now, as this thread is about 2 years out of date according to the dates on the headings. We have a friend who is trying to get some ideas on funding to start up a business here in our village, and is wondering if any EU help is available.

Posted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:13 pm
by ChrisF
I might be wrong, but I really don't think EU funding is awarded to individuals, only to organisations. I believe there is (or was before it was stopped) EU funding for which mayors could apply through their municipality for projects that would benefit the village - but, again, I might be wrong. Certainly Eu funding is not available for projects which would benefit individuals. Try googling 'EU funding' for more info.


Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:02 am
by BG9374
Found this and have applied. ... tAodqEyqTA

Book of Eu grants, least according to the sites description.

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:08 pm
by Mat
There are many different grant programmes, opened at different times during the year usually for a short period. Go to and you'll find all of the schemes in English. Probably the most relevant is the Rural Development Programme, which I am currently in the middle of evaluating for the Ministry of Agriculture. Feel free to pop me any questions.