Bulgaria's National Recovery and Resilience Plan: Latest state of play

Briefing 19-01-2023

Under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the unprecedented EU response to the crisis triggered by the pandemic, Bulgaria was initially allocated €6 267.3 million in grants. In accordance with Article 11(2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/241 (the RRF Regulation), on 30 June 2022, the European Commission recalculated the maximum grant amounts for all Member States; this resulted in a cut for Bulgaria of just over 9 % and a new total of €5 690 million. The country's national recovery and resilience plan (NRRP) has an estimated cost of €6 897.9 million, higher than the maximum financial contribution under the RRF, which is expected to be supplemented with national (and private) co-financing. Under the RRF Regulation, Member States can request RRF loans until 31 August 2023, which Bulgaria has not yet done. Bulgaria's NRRP ranks as one of the largest (after Croatia) as a share of grants in relation to gross domestic product (GDP) – originally 10.2 % of its 2019 GDP, the RRF amounting to 5.2 % of EU-27 GDP in 2019. The RRF funding should be committed by the end of 2023, and paid out to Bulgaria by the end of 2026. Following the Council's approval of the plan, on 31 August 2022, Bulgaria submitted its first payment request, worth €1 369 million. The Commission disbursed these resources on 16 December 2022. The NRRP aims to address the main challenges and systemic weaknesses of Bulgaria's economy. It builds on the national development programme BULGARIA 2030, which proposes solutions for growth and development in the medium term by setting out strategic objectives, such as accelerated economic development, demographic upswing and reduced inequalities. The NRR aims to extend the scope of reforms and investment while ensuring coherence with measures planned under EU cohesion policy. Bulgaria is one of the main beneficiaries of EU funds (measured as a share of GDP) over the 2021-2027 financing period, and complementarity with RRF resources is particularly relevant in several fields. 58.9 % of funds support climate objectives, making Bulgaria's NRRP one of the greenest, 25.8 % support digital objectives. Both minimum spending targets (green and digital) laid down in the RRF Regulation have thus been exceeded. The European Parliament participates in interinstitutional forums for cooperation and discussion on the implementation of the RRF, and scrutinises the Commission's work. This briefing is one in a series covering all EU Member States. Second edition. The 'NGEU delivery' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the lifecycle of the plans