On 28th of June 2017 the Bulgarian SME Promotion Agency (BSMEPA) organized the first regional workshop of the SUPPORT project. It was held in the premises of the Agency and was focused on sharing information and ideas about the project and the energy strategy and policies of the Republic of Bulgaria until 2020. This workshop was aimed to bring together representatives of the ministries responsible for the policies and investments made under the European Regional Development Fund for energy efficiency in public buildings and private companies. Invitations were sent to the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Ministry of Energy. Between the 19 participants were representatives of regional energy efficiency agencies, municipalities and private companies, who are expected to provide valuable inputs into the project activities on improvement of the related national financial instruments and polices.

All participants of the Stakeholder Group were introduced and acquainted with the importance of the successful development of the Regional Background Paper and the Action Plan for Bulgaria. The discussions which followed the presentation of the planned activities in Phase I of SUPPORT project included: 

- The role of DG “European Funds for Competitiveness” with Ministry of Economy as a Managing Authority of Operational Programme "Innovation and Competitiveness" for the programming period 2014 - 2020 (OPIC) was presented by Mrs. Lyudmila Tozeva, with focus on Investment Priority 3.1: Energy technology and energy efficiency. The participants agreed that the desired and expected effect of the targeted support for improving energy efficiency and environmental performance in the economy can only be achieved through joint implementation of measures to introduce energy efficient technologies and productions for effective use of resources in the companies.

- The focus of the co-operation in the project activities: The representative of DG “European Funds for Competitiveness” expressed readiness to submit the list of beneficiaries and to recommend good practices from the implemented projects under OPIC Programme;

- Mr. Nikolay Nalbantov, Director of “Energy strategies and sustainable energy development policies” with Ministry of Energy presented the activities of the ministry and agreed to participate in the review of the RBP with comments on policies, good practices and shortages.

- Sources of available information: the participants from the Ministry of Energy recommended that BSMEPA should include in the SG the Bulgarian Sustainable Energy Development Agency (SEDA), legal successor of the Executive Energy Efficiency Agency which has a database of energy consumption statistics at national level.

- The representatives of The Association of Bulgarian Energy Agencies (ABEA), which is a non-government organization, expressed their interest to participate in the SG and to provide data from the municipalities they work with. The founder members of the Association are legal entities - agencies for energy management on local and regional level, constituted with the financial and methodological assistance of the European Commission and share experience from similar projects funded by the EU. The other participants also expressed their vision and readiness to participate in the project SUPPORT activities before the first international stakeholder meeting in September.

Here the pictures of the meeting.