Bulgaria forfeits 1.6 billion leva in EU funding
President Radev caretaker government has effectively relinquished more than 1.6 billion BGN of EU funds earmarked for the mining regions of Pernik, Kyustendil and Stara Zagora where the economy is over-reliant on coal and in need of transformation.
Although Bulgaria received technical assistance from Brussels for the development of the territorial Just Transition Plans, Galab Donev's government has informed the European Commission that it will not submit the plans until the end of this year.
"It is imperative that Bulgaria finalize its territorial plans as soon as possible, at the beginning of this year," the commission warned one month ago. Otherwise, "there is a risk that EU funds allocated will be permanently lost."
Bulgaria opts out of EU arms delivery to Ukraine
Bulgaria will not be part of an EU agreement to supply ammunition - at least one million shells - to Ukraine and to replenish member states' national stockpiles.
So far 18 EU countries and Norway have done so, with more member states declaring their intention to join the initiative soon after undergoing national procedures.
President Radev justified the decision by simply saying that Bulgaria is a sovereign state.
Gas consumption down
Bulgaria has reduced its natural gas consumption by almost a quarter in the last six months, the European Commission announced.
A report released on Monday stated that between August 2022 and January 2023, natural gas consumption in Bulgaria decreased by 23.9% compared to the average levels of the last five years.
The biggest drop was registered in October, when consumption was 32.7% and in January - 29.4%. The main reason was the unseasonably mild winter.