Sofia News Agency
2 December 2008, Tuesday
The European Commission adopted a decision Tuesday giving EU's newest members Bulgaria and Romania an extension of the deadline for the payment of SAPARD funds by one year.
The Comission's decision is motivated by the weak administrative capacities and the freezing of funds due to deficiencies in the control mechanisms of the two states, which prevented them from absorbing the money.
The EC hopes that the extra year would allow Bulgarian and Romanian authorities to address these issues before the final SAPARD payments.
The deadline for the payment of funds from the SAPARD pre-accession program for the two Balkan states was December 31, 2008. With Tuesday's decision of the EC the new deadline has been set on December 31, 2009.