For more entrepreneurial spirit
Fostering entrepreneurship in Europe is paramount to the continents’s prosperity. Eva Maydell is one of the most active supporters of adopting and improving the Juncker Investment Plan. Its key feature is the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI).
The fund encourages private investment in a large number of European projects, small- or large-scale. It covers areas such as infrastructure, scientific research and innovation, education, healthcare and ICT, whereby part of the investment risk is underwritten by the European budget.
At 2%, Bulgarian SMEs are second in the EU in the amount of funding attracted through EFSI as part of GDP. This follows the unveiling of the first regional EFSI consulting office in Sofia. It will provide practical help and assist with application for eligible business projects. At the same time, a Bulgarian ‘Fund of Funds’ already operates in the country. It is overseeing the financial instruments required to implement projects co-financed by the European structural and investment funds. But none of these, nor the Juncker plan are enough in and of themselves. They need to be accompanied by a serious rethinking of Bulgaria’s investment culture.
Following through with often unpopular economic reforms, most of which already outlined in GERB’s manifesto, is the way to go for Bulgaria. One is the country’s acceptance into the Eurozone, a long-term goal Eva Maydell is actively working towards, especially in her role of Bulgaria’s sole representative in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. Introducing the Euro will have a strong positive impact on the local economy. Actually, this is the only way forward if the country wants to keep its competitive edge. A lot of political work needs to be done before the process could be officially initiated but prioritizing it on a national level would send a clear message to European partners that Bulgaria is committed to full European integration.
Focusing on start-ups
With her leading role as international secretary of GERB Entrepreneurs (GERBE), Eva works in the interest of Bulgarian business. In meetings across the country and through a number of communication channels, she strives to provide the most up-to-date and detailed information about opportunities for European financing. In the Autumn of 2016 she was elected vice-Chair of SME Europe. EPP’s business association has more than half a million members. The possibilities for international co-operation this affords GERBE companies cannot be overstated.
A good example for the benefit of working together with European partners is the establishment of the first regional EFSI consulting office in Bulgaria. It was proposed in a meeting of GERBE representatives with the vice-President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen in 2015.
Start-ups, up until recently largely ignored by European legislation, are also a priority of Eva Maydell’s work. She is one of the main contributors to the Startup and Scale-Up manifestos. These roadmaps for developing enterprises in Europe provide advice on how to kickstart and navigate growth in the digital age.
In 2017, Eva once again supported of the Start-Up Europe Week, enabling over a hundred Bulgarian young people to meet successful entrepreneurs in their fields. During the week her information offices in Stara Zagora, Veliko Tarnovo and Haskovo held a series of workshops.