World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Laura Tuck meets with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev
SOFIA, June 1, 2015 – World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Laura Tuck met today with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev to discuss deepening the Bank’s partnership with Bulgaria. The meeting came on the heels of Ms. Tuck’s visit to Bulgaria for the 2015 International Monetary Fund / World Bank Constituency meetings held in Sofia over the weekend.
During the meeting, Plevneliev and Tuck discussed how Bulgaria can make the most of its membership in the World Bank Group, using the Bank’s advisory services in support of EU funds absorption, strategically using World Bank financing, and exchanging knowledge and lessons learned with the other World Bank Group member countries.
Bulgaria and the World Bank are in the middle of a two-step process to develop a new Country Partnership Framework, which will define the World Bank Group’s support over the next five years. The first step is the preparation of a Systematic Country Diagnostic, which has identified three potentially transformative areas:
- Improving the institutional framework for good governance, including in the judiciary, financial sector, public administration, and public investment programs such as roads and energy;
- Boosting the skills of Bulgaria’s population, starting from early childhood development and pre-school through to life-long learning;
- Making public spending more effective and efficient, especially in health, long-term care, and pensions.
The Systematic Country Diagnostic report was reviewed with the Government in May this year and will be published shortly.
The second step, the development of the Country Partnership Framework, was initiated at the high-level meetings with the Bulgarian Government and Bulgarian President today.
At the meeting today in Sofia, President Plevneliev noted that, “I am glad that with the World Bank Group we share a joint vision for Bulgaria’s future.” According to him, “Purposeful policies to unlock Bulgaria’s potential are needed to increase efficiency and in this process the support of the World Bank is very important.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Tuck emphasized that, “The partnership between Bulgaria and the World Bank Group dates back more than 20 years. Our cooperation has traditionally been strong and productive, and it is encouraging to hear that Bulgaria is fully committed to making the most of its membership in the World Bank Group. It is inspiring to see Bulgaria’s achievements over the last 20 years: transforming from a fledgling market economy to an upper-middle income member of the European Union (EU) in just two decades. We are glad the World Bank Group has been and will continue to be among Bulgaria’s strategic partners.”
Since Bulgaria joined the World Bank Group in 1990, it has accessed approximately US$4 billion in financing to support reforms in areas such as banking, revenue administration, health, social welfare, environmental protection, general manufacturing, agribusiness, infrastructure, and renewable energy.