Economic Policy Review ISSN 1313 - 0544

IME on European Union Funds

Author: IME / 08.08.2008
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The mistaken logic of EU financing creates problems, some of which are showing up in Bulgaria. That does not necessarily mean that Bulgaria is not to blame. Quite the opposite, corruption is all over the place, bureaucracy - devouring all funds, while the attempts of a significant number of people in our society to live off of us or of the European taxpayer are daily, persistent and continuous.

EU money changes the incentives of the people, calls for enormous administrative costs and at the end changes our focus from the important things. 

With the following comments we defend several theses, namely:

  • The EU money is only a small portion of the funds which the Bulgarian Government will spend during this year.
  • The EU money has alternatives, which must be examined.
  • While we support the argument that money is one of the instruments to pressure for reform in Bulgaria, we also consider valid the argument that more money (regardless from where it is coming from - the EU or taxes) leads to corruption and for that reason the government should not have access to significant financing, including EU funds.
  • There are real examples showing the negative effects of European financing, which is evidence that it should be reduced significantly.

With risk of being accused of holding an extreme position, which does not defend Bulgaria, we will continue to assert how we have personally witnessed how EU financing has and is bringing out the worst practices, with the end results often negative.  

IME