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Brussels unblocks four of nine operational programmes

THE EUROPEAN Commission (EC) will unblock four of nine operation programmes, based on the presented results and its own verification. It will release together €102 million, only about one third of the sum that is currently blocked, the Sme daily reported in its September 25 issue.

THE EUROPEAN Commission (EC) will unblock four of nine operation programmes, based on the presented results and its own verification. It will release together €102 million, only about one third of the sum that is currently blocked, the Sme daily reported in its September 25 issue.

Five crucial operational programmes will still remain blocked. The EC will decide over them after the talks with the responsible ministries and further verification processes, the TASR newswire reported.

The Finance Ministry said it completed all of its tasks under the action plan concerning remedial measures vis-a-vis the drawing of EU funds.

“It stems from talks and related preliminary conclusions that remedial measures adopted by the ministry are sufficient,” the ministry wrote in a release, as quoted by TASR. “The EC accepted the results and the approach of the audit body in the process of meeting the action plan.”

The audit body looked into 181 payment requests as part of nine operational programmes in total. The most frequent shortcomings concerned public tenders, selection of projects and the supervision of expenditures.

“Based on these findings, the audit body filed nine complaints with the National Criminal Agency, 12 with the Anti-trust Office and other institutions, and took action against employees found responsible for shortcomings,” the ministry said, as quoted by TASR.

Brussels will unblock the access to the money from the Operational Programme (OP) Transport, OP Technical Aid, OP Bratislava Region and OP Cross-Border Cooperation.

“Aside from the Transport, only operational programmes of low importance are to be unblocked,” independent MP Miroslav Beblavý said, as quoted by TASR. “All the crucial and problematic operational programmes remain frozen.”

The MP also said that this continues to pose a tangible threat to the state budget.

“Also at risk is the process of successful drawing of EU funds, as only 15 months remain until the end of the programming period,” Beblavý added.

Source: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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