"EU funds in support of the business community" was the topic of the
information and explanatory meeting held on 10 July 2013 by the Kyustendil Regional Information Centre (RIC), which involved representatives
of local companies and sectoral organizations. The
information event took part in Kyustendil and was focused on the new elements of the Energy
Efficiency and Green Economy procedure, the draft of the Applicants' Guide for the Technology Upgrade in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises procedure, and common difficulties in the preparation and implementation of projects under Operational Programme Development of the Competitiveness of the
Bulgarian Economy 2007-2013".
The participants in the meeting learned that a part of the
changes in the application conditions for grant financing under the Energy
Efficiency and Green Economy procedure, which was financed from the budget of Operational Programme Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy
2007-2013, involved the introduction of
simplified conditions for contractor selection: by collecting 3 offers and providing reasoned
justification of the choice made. The other major change that has led to
alleviation in the conditions for applying under the procedure concerns the recognition of
the eligibility of activities and expenditures for auxiliary materials and equipment necessary for the assembly of the technology on the list of eligible
materials and equipment as an operational system. Another modification in the
Applicants' Guidelines for the procedure is an increase in the maximum
rate of advance payments to 65 % of the value of the grant awarded to the project. This change ensues from Council of
Ministers Decision No 300 of 18 May 2013.
Another highlight in the information event was the presentation of common
difficulties in the design and implementation of projects under Operational Programme Development of the Competitiveness of the
Bulgarian Economy 2007-2013. The presentation made it clear that the most frequent mistakes in the
preparation and compilation of the project proposal were the use of a template of
an outdated procedure and wrong, inaccurate or incomplete filling in of
the required declarations.
During the meeting the representatives of RIC also imparted the information
that the Managing Authority of Operational Programme Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy
2007-2013 was planning to launch an open competitive
procedure under the "Technology upgrade in small and medium-sized enterprises" scheme. The overall objective of this procedure is to
contribute to the enhancement of the competitiveness of the Bulgarian small and
medium-sized enterprises in different sectors of primary significance for
the development of the national economy by encouraging investments in modern
technology and equipment.
The participants in the meeting were also informed about the special section "SUGGESTIONS, COMMENTS, RECOMMENDATIONS" recently enabled on the web
site of Operational Programme Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy 2007-2013, where the business community
can send its proposals, comments and recommendations for the programming of the new 2014-2020 period on the basis of the
experience/opinion on the current programme.