On 28.02.2022, the AOBR sent a letter to the Prime Minister with proposals for emergency measures in connection with the war in Ukraine. The letter is published in its original form.
MR KIRILL PETKOV,
PRIME MINISTER OF
REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA
Ex. No. 03-00-7/28.02.2022
MR ASEN VASILEV,
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
MRS CORNELIA NINOVA,
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF ECONOMY AND INDUSTRY
Mr. GEORGI GYOKOV,
MINISTER OF LABOR AND SOCIAL POLICY
MR ALEXANDER NIKOLOV,
MINISTER OF ENERGY
SUBJECT: PROPOSALS FOR EMERGENCY MEASURES IN RELATION TO THE CRISIS IN UKRAINE
The Association of Bulgarian Employers' Organizations (AOBR) welcomes the swift and coordinated actions of the Bulgarian government in response to the crisis in Ukraine, including the decisions in the field of strengthening cyber security, the creation of a single information portal and the urgent consultations undertaken with us for further action. It is in this direction that we offer our active participation in managing the humanitarian crisis, stating that Bulgarian business is ready to employ Ukrainian citizens who seek and receive protection from the Republic of Bulgaria.
Based on previous studies, analyzes of the unemployment rate and trends in the labor market, taking into account the level of education and qualification, we believe that about 200 thousand Ukrainian citizens could be employed in the labor market.
Please note that according to the current legal requirements, persons in the procedure for granting international protection have the right to work 3 months after submitting the application for protection under Art. 29 (3) of the Asylum and Refugees Act. We suggest that the Bulgarian government develop a targeted program aimed at reducing the deadlines for obtaining refugee/humanitarian status for Ukrainian citizens, which will operate for a limited period of time, allowing normal living and working conditions for Ukrainian citizens. Such a program can also support the employers providing employment to these persons by taking part of the means of subsistence for a certain period of time. Building a database of occupations and skills of these persons will allow their easier integration into the labor market.
In parallel with the measures to deal with the humanitarian crisis, we also insist on two urgent anti-crisis measures:
I. Taking measures to control the difficult situation on the electricity market and prevent an energy crisis, by means of:
Creation of prerequisites for extending the period of validity of compensations to electricity consumers on the free market for electricity prices for the months of April - June;
Synchronization of the work of KEVR, ME, KE for a new price decision after the moratorium (around 5% increase is achievable and bearable);
Operation of maximum turnovers of the state energy and the generation controlled by it (TPP1 and TPP3 in MI), NOT limiting exports and using the profits to compensate the consumers of electricity and gas in the country;
Quick acceptance of the reliefs (notification regime) of the administrative procedures for the construction of renewable energy sources only for own consumption;
Stoppage of sales from Chiren, fuel stockpiling;
Insistence before the EC for temporary regulation of the CO2-quotas market (new emissions, price fixing, removal of financial institutions as buyers).
II. Taking measures to support Bulgarian companies from the loss of international markets and difficult transport links:
Increasing the share of direct support to enterprises in the National Plan for Recovery and Sustainability;
Finalization of the negotiations with the EC on the operational programs for the period 2021-2027, also revising and significantly reducing the share of financial instruments;
Using the capacities and tools of the Bulgarian Investment Agency and the Executive Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises to support the industries that suffer the greatest losses from the closure of international markets, through initiatives to diversify exports and enter new markets;
Assistance in providing alternative transport links to areas close to military conflict.
Accumulating crisis situations and growing challenges require coordinated and rapid actions, and show the need for the state to act in continuous dialogue and in sync with business, in which we are a reliable and responsible partner.
Chairman of the Board of BSK
and AOBR Chair for 2022,
by order of AIKB, BSK, BTPP and KRIB