The twin goals of green and digital transition are at the heart of the next EU budget-and-recovery package 2021-2027. With enhanced climate conditionality, EU spending priorities will be tightly linked to EU climate policies. The endorsement of the more ambitious EU 2030 emissions reduction target of 55% necessitate a coherent coal phase out strategy to be put in place in Bulgaria as early as possible.
Yet, both the draft national operational programmes and the draft National Recovery and Resilience Plan of Bulgaria lack a comprehensive assessment and long term perspective on how to best mobilise the available EU funds. They need to better demonstrate significant emission reductions across different sectors. The focus of the Plan and the operational programmes should move away from large infrastructure projects (including nuclear and gas) to providing resources for more decentralised sustainable energy projects, tackling energy poverty and supply diversification.