The Council of Ministers adopted the new Operational Program Environment 2021-2027

20 Jul, 2022 | 17:15


The Council of Ministers approved the new Operational Program Environment 2021-2027 (OPE 2021-2027). The strategic document for the next 7 years will be submitted to the European Commission for approval. The financial framework of the program 2021-2027 is 1,531,590,093 EUR from EU funds. The total budget of the Program, national co-financing included, amounts to 1,823,206,271 EUR (3,565,881,521 BGN). It is the only
“green” program that provides an opportunity to realize significant investments for environmental protection with European funds.

The new programming period is a natural continuation of the Operational Program Environment in the periods 2007-2013 and 2014-2020. The objectives for the 2021-2027 period continue to be related to the improvement of water supply infrastructure, air quality, environmentally friendly waste management and conservation of Bulgaria’s rich biodiversity. Measures to prevent and manage the risk of floods, landslides and forest fires fall under the “Risk and Climate Change” priority.

Over 715 million EUR (1,399.23 million BGN) will be spent on expanding and modernizing the water and sanitation infrastructure for the already consolidated areas of Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Pleven, Sofia-city, Sofia-region, Targovishte, Haskovo, and Dobrich. Among the permissible measures for Priority 1 “Water” is the development of regional prefeasibility study for the regions of Blagoevgrad, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, and Razgrad after their consolidation.

Over 312 million EUR (611.49 million BGN) under Priority 2 “Waste” are to be used to promote the transition to a circular economy based on the efficient use of resources. Systems for separate collection and recycling of biodegradable waste, centers for separate collection and preparation for waste reuse and repair, reclamation of landfills, information and explanatory campaigns, etc. will be financed.

Under Priority 3 “Biological diversity”, measures for the development of the “Natura 2000” network will continue to be developed, as well as for the protection and restoration of ecosystems outside the network. The planned budget for this priority is 132.47 million EUR  (259.09 million BGN).

Eligible measures under Priority 4 “Risk and climate change” will include building ground capacity to fight forest fires, the development of digital models, analyzes and forecasts in relation to climate change, etc.

The reduction of all forms of air pollution remains a top priority in the new program for 2021-2027. More than 395 million EUR (773.47 million BGN) will be directed to measures to reduce harmful emissions from domestic heating and transport, to decrease with secondary dust, to improve the monitoring of air quality, as well as to create a National Network of air quality monitoring experts.

In OPE 2021-2027, special attention is paid to integrated territorial investments, as well as to the “community-led local development” approach. A total of 6.99 million EUR have been allocated for this approach, within priority “Waste” - for information and explanatory activities, and within priority “Biodiversity” - for information and training, change in attitudes, seminars and forums, etc.

The process of developing OPE 2021-2027 lasted 2 years within the framework of the thematic working group in partnership with regional and local authorities, socio-economic partners, non-governmental organizations, the academic community, and various other stakeholders. Two public discussions were held with the general public through,, and