5th of October 2006 will mark the day that the European Investment Bank is signing with the Republic of Bulgaria a Memorandum of Understanding setting a support framework by the EIB worth EUR 500-700,000,000 (five hundred to seven hundred million euros) per year in the time period 2007-2013 for Bulgaria's national transport and basic infrastructure investment plans.

Just a few days after the Commission has given the green light for accession on 1st January 2007, Bulgaria sets a clear signal by signing an understanding on a potential range of projects and measures for close cooperation with the EIB, the EU's finance institution.

The agreement, signed by Plamen Oresharski, Minister of Finance and Philippe Maystadt, President of the EIB, states that the Bank's activities in Bulgaria will be based on the following objectives:

  • Improve and upgrade the country's basic infrastructure in the transport and environment sectors in combination with EU grants and other sources;
  • Promote and strengthen economic growth and development through combination with EU grants, government and private funds;
  • Cooperate closely in the implementation of projects financed by the Bank; Provide technical support and expertise for selected EU Cohesion and Structural Fund projects defined in the JASPERS National Action Plan;
  • Assist the Government in the implementation of a national PPP programme.

This agreement marks an important commitment from the Bank to a member country, EIB President Maystadt said in Sofia at the signing of the agreement. He added that Bulgaria has substantial long-term investment needs, which the EIB is ready to support.

The Bulgarian Minister of Finance, Plamen Oresharski, stated that the investments to be supported under the new Memorandum represented key infrastructure priorities of Bulgaria. EIB's long term financing and experience as the Bank of the European Union would provide important benefits to Bulgaria. He also said that this is an important step in assuring that projects will be financed and implemented in the most cost-effective way.

The EIB is committed to supporting the development of Bulgaria's economy to help the country for successful EU integration. The EIB's cumulative financing in Bulgaria stands at EUR 1,24 billion and relates to investments in a wide range of key economic sectors.