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Factsheet for measure BG-2021-49/2166 Updated – measures in Bulgaria

Grant aid to bus carriers

Безвъзмездни средства за подпомагане на автобусните превозвачи

Country Bulgaria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 December 2021 – 23 December 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Tsetomila Sabcheva and Luboslav Kostov (Citub)
Measure added 13 January 2022 (updated 01 March 2023)

Background information

The European Commission has approved in November 2021 a grant aid of BGN 40 million (€20 million) to Bulgarian bus carriers. The aid was proposed during the state budget update aims to support the transport sector. The sector is reporting a drop in revenue and limited passenger traffic due to the pandemic.

The grant aid is provided to companies until the end of 2021 and will serve as compensation for the revenue loss. The aid is allowed to be paid to large bus carriers and municipalities.

Content of measure

The Government approved additional expenditures of up to BGN 40 million (€20 million) from the 2021 budget of the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications. The funds provided are at the expense of the contingency and/ or urgent expenditure reserve for 2021 from the central budget in the part for complementary and compensatory measures in relation to COVID-19.

The grant is allowed to companies with a reported decline in turnover of at least 20% in 2021 (compared to 2019).

The grant aid cannot be over 8% of net company revenues declared in 2019. The maximum grant received per company is set at BGN 200,000 (€100,000) for micro and small bus carriers, BGN 400,000 (€200,000) for medium bus carriers and up to BGN 3.5 million (€1.8 million) for large bus carriers.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

07 October 2021

Bus operators were threatening to hold another protest after it became clear that only 9 companies will receive the support of BGN 40 million voted by the budget update for the industry. The Ministry of Transport has drafted the rules for distribution of BGN 40 million additional budget funds, according to which 80% will go to 9 large bus companies, 132 companies are excluded from the program and the remaining 1,340 small carriers will be in competition for BGN 8 million leva, according to the National Association of Casual Transport (NACT), whose members are small transport companies, mainly related to tourism.

Use of measure

The grant aid is allocated to micro, small, medium and large enterprises that are licensed carriers for passenger transport and develop their main economic activity in one of the sectors: Urban and suburban passenger land transport and Other passenger land transport. Grant aid will be provided if the bus carriers meet the following criteria:

  • Registration of business before 1 January 2020 and engagement in business activities in 2019, 2020 and 2021
  • Registered decrease of at least 20% in revenues for each of the three months selected by the carrier from the calendar months in the period from 1 January 2021 to the end of the month preceding the month of application, compared to the turnover for the same months in 2019
  • Registered decline in revenue in 2020 compared to 2019.

Up to 23 December 2021 a total of 565 applications are submitted by bus carriers.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Sector specific set of companies
Larger corporations
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


No involvement is registered at the time of adoption of the measure.

Views and reactions

No views are registered at the time of adoption of the measure.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      H - Transportation And Storage H49 Land transport and transport via pipelines

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 23 September 2021: Автобусните превозвачи остават без помощ до решението на Брюксел (
  • 07 October 2021: 9 transport companies settled with millions from the budget (
  • 16 November 2021: ЕК одобри помощта от 40 млн. лв. за автобусните превозвачи (
  • 01 December 2021: Кабинетът определи условията, реда и размера за предоставяне на средства за подпомагане на автобусните превозвачи (
  • 30 December 2021: Подадени са 565 заявления от автобусни превозвачи за кандидатстване за държавна помощ (


Eurofound (2022), Grant aid to bus carriers, measure BG-2021-49/2166 (measures in Bulgaria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.