An EP committee will discuss the absorption of EU funds in Bulgaria

Between 2015 and 2019, OLAF detected irregularities in 1126 cases in the use of European funds

Tonight, the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control will discuss the checks for irregularities with the absorption of EU funds in Bulgaria.

Representatives of the European Commission from the departments of agriculture and regional activities, as well as the Anti-Fraud Office with European funds OLAF will be heard. The meeting is convened because of the decision of the United States to impose sanctions on Bulgarian citizens under the “Magnitsky” law. It is not yet decided whether the issue will be discussed later in plenary.

Documents for the upcoming meeting of the parliamentary committee contain an excerpt from a report on the state of organized crime in the EU, which will be presented later this month. It is noted that according to the latest data of the European Commission, Bulgaria loses in 2018 1.2 billion euros from tax fraud, bankruptcy and insolvency.

Between 2015 and 2019, OLAF detected irregularities in 1126 cases in the use of European funds. In 2019, six cases of suspected fraud in the field of agriculture and one on cohesion funds for over 685 thousand euros in total were checked. The inspection also covered cases of other irregularities worth 13.9m euros.

Data from a report by the Center for the Study of Democracy are quoted, according to which fraud with European funds is estimated at 70-300 million euros a year in Bulgaria. According to the same data for 2014-2020, the losses ranged from half a billion to 1.78 billion euros.