We are delighted to announce that our successful partner collaboration during the implementation of the CircPro project, alongside the introduction of circular public procurement in the National Waste Management Plan 2021-2028, has resulted in new prospects for implementing public procurement in Bulgaria.
Furthermore, our combined efforts and knowledge have positively impacted the first cross-sectoral National Strategy for Transition to a Circular Economy of Bulgaria 2022-2027. The document aligns with the European Commission's package of measures to stimulate the transition to a circular economy, which can drive global competitiveness and sustainable economic growth. Accordingly, the Strategy is part of the Bulgarian government's package of measures for the transition to a circular economy at the national level. Due to its interrelated nature, the Strategy is cross-sectoral and accounts for the fact that resources can "mix "and move between sectors, unlocking the great potential to expedite the transition to a more circular economy.
But this is just the beginning...
In relation to the Action Plan, which oversees the change of the political instrument in Bulgaria, we can note several positive trends:
- А report to determine the percentage of circular procurements published by public authorities over one calendar year was prepared. This activity was important to ensure that the CircPro project met its goals and objectives in Bulgaria. The statistical data used is based on available public information, including documents and data from the Bulgarian Public Procurement Agency /PPA/, collected specifically for the purpose. In order to refine the results, uniform criteria have been formulated, and the tender documentation for each procedure has been closely examined in accordance with the procurement phases outlined in the "Regional Guide for Circular Public Procurement of Bulgaria", developed in connection with the implementation of the CircPro project. The results show that in the period September 2021 - September 2022, public procurements with circular criteria make up about 23% of the total number of public procurements. In previous years, these figures varied but never exceeded 14%. The entire report can be downloaded from the website of the Bulgarian Recycling Association from this link: Circular public procurement report
- The second activity of the Action plan is related to the new requirements for procurers of construction activities, derived from the National Waste Management Plan 2021-2028 - mandatory use of recycled construction materials when awarding public contracts for construction, rehabilitation, major repair, and reconstruction of buildings, roads, and other constructions of the technical infrastructure. Thanks to the good practices presented by the various partners during the project activities, we developed a Guide for Procurers of Construction, Reconstruction, and Rehabilitation of Buildings. The Guidebook is not characterized by a mandatory nature, it aims to educate and motivate public contracting authorities and to build on the useful practices acquired during the implementation of the CircPro project. The manual covers the legislative framework in Europe and Bulgaria regarding the use of recycled construction materials, as well as their impact on the environment and the quality of the new buildings. The full version of the Guidebook can be downloaded here: Catalogue of ecological materials in the Construction, Reconstruction, and Rehabilitation of Buildings
Also, the identification of potential opportunities for financing related projects that promote circular public procurement continues. The budget of the "Operational Program Environment 2021-2027" for this period has been officially approved, and in the upcoming months, several programs for the recruitment of project proposals are expected to be opened. The Bulgarian Recycling Association will provide a written opinion on the inclusion of circular public procurement in eligible activities for financing, from the perspective of training to increase administrative capacity.
Thank you to our partners and all stakeholders involved! Responsible procurement is the future of the circular economy – and also the biggest challenge. CircPro has helped public authorities turn sustainable strategies into results.