By the end of the year, all operational programs of the new programming period will have started work with announced schemes for financial assistance and 2015 won't be a zero year. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev at a meeting with German investors, organized by the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce. At the meeting Donchev outlined the main priorities and challenges for the government to provide a favorable business environment and conditions for investment in Bulgaria.

"The first priority of the government is to preserve stability, security, sustainability and predictability of the environment," said Donchev. "We are in a ring of geopolitical risks and strive for Bulgaria to be accepted as a tranquil place for living and business. This is the greatest risk, but also the biggest challenge."

As the main task of the government Donchev outlined the need for reforms in key areas, highlighting the measures in justice, public administration, education and health. "These are areas that affect not only users as citizens, but also investors themselves," Donchev said. "We have a common task - to plan measures so that this situation can be changed and the trend towards improving human capital to be enhanced. This will require decades of effort by each successive government" said Tomislav Donchev.

With regard to the financing with EU funds, the Deputy Prime Minister stressed that 2015 won't be a zero year and all operational programs have been already approved. "The program for rural development is also approved, we expect the adoption of the last tool - the program for the development of maritime affairs and fisheries. The first schemes have already started under OPRD, OPIC and RDP. By year end, all operational programs will have started work with announced schemes for financial assistance," said Tomislav Donchev.

"We have a task - to avoid mistakes already made, the funding should reach the beneficiaries faster and we should simplify procedures as much as possible," said Donchev. According to him, the simplification process should be a permanent effort for all participants in the system and this effort must be applied consistently. "We strive for maximum transparency of procedures for awarding public contracts and as part of this commitment, Bulgaria is among the first countries to join the initiative of integrity pacts for the European Commission, implemented by the organization "Transparency International", said the Deputy Prime Minister. He added that through the UMIS system Bulgaria is one of the few member states that maintains a public online register of all activities funded by the EU, including information about the project contractors.

At the meeting Donchev presented concepts for a new law on public procurement and a law on management of EU funds, stressing the role of the two laws to achieve the objective for the system to be balanced, the roles of participants in the system to be regulated and processes - simplified.

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