There is a grave risk for Bulgaria to lose funding under the ISPA programme, mainly because of delayed launch of tender procedures on projects under the programme and because of weaknesses in its management, which was indicated in several letters of the European Commission to the people responsible for the programme and at meetings with them, EC Spokesman Dennis Abbott said for BTA Friday.
To avoid this risk Bulgaria should accelerate the implementation of projects and provide the timely arrival in Brussels of the invoices on approved projects, he added.
According to Abbott, the figures possibly to be returned to the European Commission stand between 500 and 700 million euro because of unexecuted or delayed projects under ISPA after January 1 2011 when the programme will end.
These are based on higher forecast evaluations related to projects which may not be implemented around the middle of 2011 when the audit under ISPA will end.
Commission data indicate that 455 euro funding under ISPA remain to be absorbed, Abbott said, stating that he expects the Bulgarian government will not raise the question of an opportunity for extending the deadline for negotiation of projects under the programme (the end of 2009), except if it does not have the feeling that part of the funding under it which still has not been absorbed will be lost.