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The Principle of Partnership in Programming the EU Funds and the Extent of Compliance in Bulgaria

Dessislava Hristova

The process of EU integration entails sufficient national institutional capacity to perform and implement EU common policies. This requires specific set of administrativeand policy tools in order to achieve the overall goals abiding the acquis communautaire. This ability has been even more pressing in the accession process of theCentral and Eastern European last enlargement states in the light of the simultaneous process of democratic consolidation.The paper will focus on the application of the principle partnership in the programming of the cohesion policy in Bulgaria as litmus for state efficiency to implement publicpolicies. This process is still a challenge for Bulgaria. The Structural Funds are a public resource for development. As stated by the EU Commission , an importantprerequisite for the preparation for successful resource absorption is the application of the partnership principle at the various stages: planning; management;implementation; monitoring; and implementation. The process of programming in Bulgaria has revealed difficulties in the implementation of the partnership principle dueto inefficient public policy making and the lack of clear-cut government-civil society relations. Through analysis of recent quantitative and qualitative data on theapplication of the partnership principle in Bulgaria, the presentation will illustrate the main limitations of the EU leverage in this realm.

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