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Bulgaria is a top performer for EU funds contracting in Central and Eastern Europe, KPMG study reveals

Bulgaria is a top performer for EU funds

An insight into the data for Bulgaria during the first three years of the 2014-2020 programming period.

Jivomira Gaydova, Senior Manager, Public Sector Advisory

Senior Manager, Public Sector Advisory

KPMG in Bulgaria


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Ten years after joining the European Union, Bulgaria continues to benefit from EU funds. The experience gained in the first programming period 2007-2013 has proved to be a critical factor in ensuring a better programme and project management.

The figures in KPMG’s latest study on EU funds implementation across Central and Eastern Europe show that, in comparison to the contracting ratios of all CEE countries, Bulgaria is among the top three countries as regards the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund with a 32% contracting ratio at end 2016, the other top performers being Estonia which ranks first with 47% and Hungary second with 45% at end 2016. 

Overall, for the first three years of the current programming period, Bulgaria has demonstrated good results in EU funds implementation, as compared to the same period in the previous programming period (2007-2009). The European Structural Funds’ implementation shows a gradual acceleration in terms of contracting. The payment (7%) and EC certification (3.5%) ratios are at average level compared to the other CEE countries.


However, in terms of contracted and paid funds under the rural development and the fisheries programmes, Bulgaria significantly lags behind the other countries, especially for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund with 0% implementation at end 2016.

A good practice identified in KPMG’s study is the implementation of financial instruments through the adoption of the Operational Programme Initiatives for Small and Medium Enterprises 2014-2020 which is dedicated to improving SMEs` access to finance through the combination of the European Regional Development Fund with other EU funding under COSME and Horizon 2020. KPMG’s progress summary also draws attention to the biggest investments in the Research & Development field and reveals lessons learned and some areas for improvement.

See more information about Bulgaria`s performance in EU funds implementation for the period of 2014 – 2016 in the progress summary. 

About KPMG’s study

KPMG’s study on EU Funds in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) presents the EU funds implementation for the period 2014-2016 of the current Multiannual Financial Framework, i.e. European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund including the Youth Employment Initiative (ESF), Cohesion Fund (CF), European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) in 11 Member States in Central and Eastern Europe. Progress is presented in comparison to the first three years of the previous programming period (2007-2013). 

© 2021 KPMG Bulgaria OOD, a Bulgarian limited liability company and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity.  Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.



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