In order to achieve the objectives of this Agreement and in accordance with Articles 100, 101, 103 and 104, without prejudice to Article 102, Bulgaria shall benefit from temporary financial assistance from the Community in the form of grants and loans, including loans from the European Investment Bank according to the provisions of Article 18 of the Statute of the Bank, to accelerate the economic transformation of Bulgaria and to help Bulgaria to cope with the economic and social consequences of structural readjustment.
This financial asssistance shall be covered:
- either within the framework of the Operation Phare foreseen in Council Regulation (EEC) No 3906/89, as amended, on a multiannual basis, or within a new financial multiannual framework established by the Community following consultations with Bulgaria and taking into account the considerations set out in Articles 103 and 104 of this Agreement,
- by the loans provided by the European Investment Bank until the expiry date of the availability thereof; following consultations with Bulgaria the Community shall fix the maximum amount and period of availablity of loans from the European Investment Bank for Bulgaria for subsequent years.
The objectives and the areas of the Community's financial assistance shall be laid down in an indicative programme to be agreed between the two Parties. The Parties shall inform the Association Council.
1. The Community shall, in case of special need, taking into account the G-24's guidelines for action and the availability of all financial resources, on request by Bulgaria and in coordination with international financial institutions, in the context of the G-24, examine the possibility of granting temporary financial asssistance:
- to support measures with the aim to introduce and maintain the convertibility of the Bulgarian currency, - to support medium-term stabilization and structural adjustment efforts, including balance of payments assistance.
2. This financial assistance is subject to Bulgaria's presentation of IMF supported programmes in the context of the G-24, as appropriate, for convertibility and/or for restructuring its economy, to the Community's acceptance thereof, to Bulgaria's continued adherence to these programmes and, as an ultimate objective, to rapid transition to reliance on finance from private sources. 3. The Association Council will be informed of the conditions under which this assistance will be provided and of the respect of the obligations undertaken by Bulgaria concerning such assistance.
The Community financial assistance shall be evaluated in the light of the needs which arise and of Bulgaria's development level, and taking into account established priorities and the absorption capacity of Bulgaria's economy, the ability to repay loans and progress towards a market economy system and restructuring in Bulgaria.
In order to permit optimum use of the resources available, the Parties shall ensure that Community contributions are made in close coordination with those from other sources such as the Member States, other countries, including the G-24, and international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.