The European Commission followed up on the political commitment made by President Jean-Claude Juncker in Bratislava by unlocking €160 million in financial assistance to Bulgaria, noting that “the first disbursements in a matter of days, not weeks”.

Following the announcement made by Juncker at the press conference after the Informal Meeting of the 27 Heads of State or Government in Bratislava on 16 September, the European Commission responded positively to requests for emergency funding submitted by the Bulgarian authorities.

“By fast-tracking the requests, we will make available up to €108 million in emergency funding to Bulgaria to strengthen the management of migration flows and strengthen border surveillance and border control activities,” the Commission said in a presse release.

Following constructive meetings between the Commission and Bulgaria on September 26, both sides are on track to sign the grant agreements and proceed with the first disbursements quickly, the Commission said.

In parallel, the Commission is also proceeding with the rapid assessment of further emergency applications received from Bulgaria for an additional amount of €52 million, with the evaluation committee set to meet on September 29.