Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure BG-2020-34/1181 – Updated – measures in Bulgaria
|Country||Bulgaria , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 19 August 2020 – 13 November 2020|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
|Author||Eva Dimitrova (for Eurofound)|
|Measure added||24 September 2020 (updated 01 April 2023)|
The Bulgarian government has implemented three special funding programmes for agriculture businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and faced difficulties for optimal realisation of farming activity.
Sub-measure COVID I: 'Extraordinary temporary support for farmers' has a budget of BGN 93,5 million (approximately €46 million) and covers the sectors - 'Fruits and vegetables', 'Oil-bearing rose', 'Vineyards', 'Ornamental plants', 'Livestock' (cattle, buffaloes, sheep and goats) and 'Beekeeping'.
Sub-measure COVID II: 'Extraordinary temporary support for farmers 2' has a budget of BGN 5.5 million (approximately €2,7 million) and covers all other areas in the field of crop production and 'Livestock' (pigs and poultry).
Sub-measure COVID III: 'Extraordinary temporary support for small and medium-sized enterprises and recognized producer groups and organisations' has a budget of BGN 7,3 million (approximately €3.15 million) and covers micro, small or medium-sized agricultural enterprises, with the exception of businesses in fishery as well as groups and producer organisations carrying out the processing, marketing or development of agricultural products.
The conditions for granting the aid and the documents for application under the sub-measures are described and published in the State Gazette, issue no. 70 of 7 August 2020. Ordinance No. 2 of 5 August 2020 on the implementation of measure 21 'Extraordinary temporary support for farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises, which are particularly affected by the crisis caused by COVID-19'. The aid is part of the national 'Programme for rural development' (PRD) for the period 2014 - 2020.
The measures are precedent by de minimis subsidy due to COVID-19, paid for April, May and June 2020, within the scope of the current PRD.
Sub-measure for agriculture COVID I offers farmers subsidies according to the size of their arable land or number of livestock. The measure varies in accordance to the type of agrarian production and livestock. The state aid starts from BGN 300 (€150) for a vineyard hectare and goes up to BGN 5,000 (€2,500) for a hectare in vegetable production. The state aid is paid once.
Sub measure COVID II offers employment subsidiaries for employees in the agricultural industry as follows:
The measure targets farmers who have applied for support under the direct payment schemes in the national agricultural campaigns 2019 and 2020 or have applied and have been approved for de minimis state aid for beekeeping in 2019. Beneficiaries will also receive support with a valid contract or approved application under other measures within the scope of PRD 2014 - 2020.
Applicants may receive support for more than one of the farming activities within the framework, but not more than BGN 14,000 (€7,000).
The financial aid under sub-measure COVID III is offering state aid to agricultural small and medium enterprises that experience revenue decrease of at least 20% compared to 2019. The aid amounts 5% of the value of the declared income from the sale of processed agricultural products for 2019 or BGN 270 (€135) for an employee.
Application period for COVID I and II is 19 August 2020 - 21 September 2020.
Application period for COVID III is 26 October 2020 - 13 November 2020.
Around 33,860 applications were submitted under the emergency measures COVID I and COVID II. Sub-measure I attracted 32,694 farmers and sub-measure II 1,166.
The COVID I sub-measure granted nearly BGN 70 million (€35 million) to about 30,000 farmers.
The payment of COVID I was initiated on 16 October 2020.
A total of about 30,000 farmers have (by the final date of the measure: 13 November 2020) received support under the measure, according to Bulgaria's agriculture minister. This met the initial expectations for the effect of the measure, as almost the entire allocated resource of €35 million was spent.
The final financial resource of BGN 143,500,000 under the State aid scheme "Liquidity support to farmers to overcome the negative economic impact of COVID-19" for 2022 has been confirmed. The budget is divided between: Livestock and small ruminants, bee colonies - BGN 79 million; Fruits and vegetables, oil rose and rice - BGN 64.5 million.
|Applies to all workers||
Sector specific set of companies
One person or microenterprises
|Does not apply to citizens|
Company / Companies
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
The measures COVID I, II, III were designed after a request made by agricultural organisations and producers, who experienced the de minimis subsidies during the second quarter of 2020 as insufficient to combat the economic impacts in agriculture. They are welcoming the programmes.
Most farmers see the measure as important and helpful. The need of the measure vary across sectors, as some sectors have been impacted stronger than others, also to factors related to climate. However, some industries like beekeeping see the aid insufficient to cover the looses caused by the pandemic.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|A - Agriculture, Forestry And Fishing||A1 Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities|
|Occupation (ISCO level 2)|
|Agricultural, forestry and fishery labourers|
Eurofound (2020), COVID-19: State aid for agriculture, measure BG-2020-34/1181 (measures in Bulgaria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BG-2020-34_1181.html
30 January 2023
Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.Article
12 September 2022
Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.Article
12 September 2022
This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.Article
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.