Tag Archives: Bulgaria

Bulgaria – adoption of the community acquis

Bulgaria – adoption of the community acquis

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Bulgaria – adoption of the community acquis


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Enlargement 2004 and 2007 > Bulgaria – adoption of the community acquis

Bulgaria – adoption of the community acquis

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Ongoing enlargement

Ongoing enlargement

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Ongoing enlargement


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement

Ongoing enlargement

The enlargement process is based on a certain number of principles and instruments which have been drawn up gradually, especially in the context of the fifth enlargement. Its objective is to prepare the candidate countries to assume the obligations deriving from Member State status. The Copenhagen criteria determine the conditions to be respected by the candidate countries: the political and economic criteria and the adoption and application of European legislation (acquis). This process requires considerable effort on the part of the candidate countries, which are judged on their own merits, especially in terms of strengthening institutions and reforms. The EU has therefore established various instruments to support and assist them and to evaluate their preparation and needs at each stage of the enlargement process.


  • The accession process for a new Member State
  • Enlargement Strategy 2011-2012
  • 2010-2011 Enlargement Strategy
  • Enlargement strategy 2009-2010
  • Enlargement Strategy 2007-2008
  • Enlargement strategy 2006-2007: challenges and integration capacity
  • Enlargement strategy 2005: roadmap for the Western Balkans
  • Progress with enlargement: Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia (2004)
  • Enlargement strategy and 2003 report on the candidate countries


  • Turkey
  • Croatia
  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • Iceland
  • Opinion on Montenegro’s accession to the European Union


Financial assistance

  • Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)
  • The operational priorities of the European Investment Bank
  • Overhaul for EU Solidarity Fund

Sectoral cooperation

  • Civil society dialogue between the EU and candidate countries
  • Black Sea Synergy
  • Cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries on nuclear safety
  • European Training Foundation (ETF)


  • Relations with the northern part of Cyprus

Black Sea Synergy

Black Sea Synergy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Black Sea Synergy


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement

Black Sea Synergy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 11 April 2007 – Black Sea Synergy – A new regional cooperation initiative [COM(2007) 160 final – Not yet published in the Official Journal].


Black Sea Synergy is a cooperation initiative that proposes a new dynamic for the region, its countries and their citizens. Regional cooperation could provide additional value to initiatives in areas of common interest and serve as a bridge to help strengthen relations with neighbouring countries and regions (Caspian Sea, Central Asia, South-eastern Europe).

In this context, Black Sea Synergy could reinforce the impact of existing cooperation instruments (the pre-accession process in the case of Turkey, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Strategic Partnership with Russia) and regional initiatives (Danube Cooperation Process).

Areas of cooperation

The EU proposes to build on its experience to support initiatives promoting democracy, respect for human rights and good governance through training, exchanges and regional dialogues with civil society.

It will also make use of institutions like the South-east European Cooperation Initiative (SECI) to tackle issues of migration and security. Improving border management and customs cooperation will help prevent irregular migration and fight against organised cross-border crime (trafficking in human beings, arms and drugs,).

The EC advocates a more active role in addressing frozen conflicts (Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh). Cooperation programmes offer a way of tackling issues of governance, security, social cohesion and economic development.

As regards energy, the EU will continue to enhance its relations with energy producers, transit countries and consumers for energy supply security, an area in which the Black Sea region is of strategic importance. The various instruments in place, both specific (Baku Initiative, dialogue on energy security, ENP) and general (bilateral relations, expansion of the Energy Community Treaty, WTO accession), are a means of working towards regulatory harmonisation and providing a clear, transparent and non-discriminatory framework. The EU also supports research into alternative energy sources, energy efficiency and energy saving, as well as the modernisation of infrastructures and the development of a new trans-Caspian trans-Black Sea energy corridor.

The EC should continue to support regional transport cooperation initiatives to improve the efficiency, safety and security of transport operations and improve coordination, notably through the extension of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the TRACECA programme. Other essential objectives include harmonising the regulatory framework through a dialogue on transport, uniform application of instruments and standards, extending the common aviation area and enhancing aviation and maritime safety.

As regards the protection of the environment, Member States will be encouraged to work within the framework of regional seas conventions. The implementation of multilateral agreements and a broader strategic cooperation are also essential, as is regional activity to combat climate change.

The EU’s emerging maritime policy should embrace all the countries in the region, and focus on developing a cross-sectoral maritime cooperation network. As regards fisheries, the management of fisheries resources should be strengthened to promote sustainable and responsible use of stocks.

In the trade sector, the closer economic cooperation needed to encourage trade liberalisation should be based on preferential trade relations, WTO accession, agreements with Russia and Ukraine, and the implementation of ENP action plans to promote harmonisation of laws and regulations.

Cooperation in the context of research and education networks is another aspect of this synergy. It aims at developing on-line services and e-commerce, the interconnection of all countries in the area to the pan-European research backbone GEANT and providing high-speed connectivity. The Tempus programme is another instrument for cooperation in the field of higher education.

In the field of science and technology, the EC intends to promote capacity-building and S&T policy dialogue with the Black Sea countries, through the 7th Research Framework Programme and other relevant instruments.

With regard to employment and social affairs, the EU should support initiatives aimed at strengthening social cohesion and fighting poverty and social exclusion through technical assistance schemes (exchange of information and best practice, awareness-raising, training).

The lessons learned in the implementation of the EU’s regional policy programmes for Bulgaria and Romania could be turned to account for regional development programmes throughout the area.


Instruments like the ENPI, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the regional activities of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank provide a financing framework.

Cross-border cooperation through the ENPI, the ERDF and the IPA should promote links between and strengthen the role of local actors and civil society.

In addition, the involvement of regional organisations should guarantee an appropriate level of regional cooperation, following the example of the Organisation for Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), to which all the countries in the region belong. Civil society organisations, under the aegis of the Black Sea Forum, could also provide a fertile medium for cooperation initiatives.

The strengthening of the European Neighbourhood Policy, including the building of a thematic dimension to the ENP and the gradual development of deep and comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, would enrich Black Sea cooperation. Regional contacts should be facilitated by the removal of obstacles to legitimate travel and the promotion of university exchanges through the Erasmus Mundus and Tempus programmes. The Neighbourhood Investment Facility for countries with ENP Action Plans will help finance infrastructure investments, particularly in the fields of energy, transport and the environment.



Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Bulgaria


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Competition > Competition: international dimension and enlargement



Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2008 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 707 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 501 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 702 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final – SEC (2001) 1744 – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final – SEC (2002) 1400 – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 676 final – SEC (2003) 1210 – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2004) 657 final – SEC(2004) 1199 – Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2005) 534 final – SEC(2005) 1352 – Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 157 of 21.06.05]


In its opinion of July 1997, the European Commission considered that, where restrictive agreements are concerned, Bulgaria had made some progress in taking the necessary institutional and legislative measures. However, the implementation and enforcement of the legislation required sustained structural reforms. The progress made on state aid was considered to be more modest, in particular as regards transparency in granting such aid and the establishment of a proper supervisory authority.

The November 1998 report noted the progress made in the application of the rules on restrictive agreements but also emphasised the need to make further efforts in the area of state aid (especially monitoring)

The October 1999 report noted that Bulgaria had partly met the priorities of the accession partnership. Progress had been made in the area of restrictive agreements but efforts still needed to be made concerning the monitoring of state aid.

The November 2000 report noted some progress on antitrust thanks to the reorganisation of the Committee for the Protection of Competition (CPC). However, results in terms of checks on state aid were still insufficient.

The November 2001 report acknowledged that further progress had been made in antitrust matters and state aid. The CPC, which was restructured in 2000, had done a great deal in monitoring restrictive agreements and was now also working on state aid. The setting-up of a working party on state aid law in the Ministry of Finance was a positive sign.

The October 2002 report noted that Bulgaria had made steady progress in adopting antitrust and state aid legislation, in developing the administrative capacity of the Commission for the Protection of Competition and in establishing an enforcement record. Overall, however, Bulgaria did not fully meet Community requirements as regards legislative alignment, administrative capacity and enforcement, particularly in relation to state aid.

The November 2003 report considered that Bulgaria had achieved a largely satisfactory level of alignment with the antitrust acquis. As regards state aid, however, it had not yet completed its legislative alignment.

The October 2004 report noted that Bulgarian competition policy was broadly in line with Community law in this field. However, Bulgaria needed to make further efforts with a view to accession, partly as a result of changes in Community competition law.

The October 2005 report welcomes the progress made by Bulgaria in the area of competition and considers that it should be able to implement the relevant acquis on accession, although certain adjustments are still needed.

The Treaty of Accession was signed on 25 April 2005 and accession took place on 1 January 2007.


The European Community rules on competition stem from Article 3(g) of the EC Treaty, which states that the activities of the Community must include “a system ensuring that competition in the internal market is not distorted”. The main areas to which this applies are restrictive agreements between undertakings and the monitoring of state aid. The Community acquis in the competition field thus consists of a set of rules and procedures aimed, on the one hand, at combating anti-competitive behaviour by firms (restrictive agreements between undertakings and abuse of a dominant position) and, on the other, preventing the public authorities from granting state aid that is liable to distort competition.

The Europe Agreement with Bulgaria, which came into force on 1 February 1995, provides for a competition regime to be applied in trade relations between the Community and Bulgaria based on the requirements set out in Articles 81, 82 and 87 of the EC Treaty concerning agreements between undertakings, abuse of a dominant position and state aid, and for implementing rules in these fields to be adopted within three years of the entry into force of the Agreement.

Furthermore, the Agreement requires Bulgaria to make its rules on competition compatible with those of the Community.

The White Paper refers to the progressive application the above provisions and of those contained in the Merger Regulation and of Articles 31 and 86 of the EC Treaty concerning monopolies and special rights.


Bulgarian legislation in the field of restrictive agreements, Bulgarian legislation is largely in line with the Community acquis. The Protection of Competition Act sets out the main principles of the Community rules as regards restrictive agreements, abuse of a dominant position and merger control. Since 1998 the Committee for the Protection of Competition (CPC) has been the national authority responsible for enforcing competition rules in Bulgaria. The CPC has been restructured in order to refocus resources on serious competition problems. Its administrative capacity and track record have improved and its sanctions policy is now more deterrent-oriented.

However, Bulgaria needs to make further adjustments with a view to accession. As regards legislation, it must prepare the ground for the implementation of Regulation 1/2003 and for its participation in the European competition network. In addition, the role of the CPC needs to be strengthened. It must take a more active role in identifying and removing barriers to competition, particularly in the most serious cases of distortion of competition, improve its methods of investigation and ensure that its sanctions act as an effective deterrent. Coordination between the authorities responsible for regulation and those responsible for enforcement should also continue to be reinforced.

Bulgaria has also made progress in terms of state aid legislation and implementing rules. The new State Aid Act, which entered into force in 2002, and the implementing provisions, which were amended in 2004, provide an appropriate legal framework for checks on state aid. The CPC is responsible for these checks and has the necessary powers to guarantee the enforcement of state aid legislation. The Department of State Aid at the Ministry of Finance is responsible for monitoring the checks. The progress made by Bulgaria is evidenced by the greater transparency in the control system and the adoption of a regional aid map. The CPC’s track record has improved significantly both in terms of the scope and quality of its control of enforcement of state aid legislation. The administrative capacity of the CPC and the State Aid Department at the Ministry of Finance is also increasing steadily. In the energy sector, Bulgaria is committed to ending aid to coal production and district heating enterprises by the end of 2005.

In order to complete its preparations for membership, Bulgaria must continue to focus on developing its track record of enforcement of and compliance with state aid legislation. Progress is needed on adopting the new acquis. It must also continue to increase its administrative capacity, in particular by reinforcing the powers of the CPC and the Department of State Aid at the Ministry of Finance and by promoting cooperation within the administration. Bulgaria must also make additional efforts to comply with the national programme for restructuring the iron and steel industry and meet its commitment to cease state aid for this restructuring after 2005. The drawing up of a state aid coordination plan will ensure that the experience acquired can continue to be drawn after accession.

This chapter was provisionally closed, subject to confirmation of the positive trend in the state aid enforcement record. This trend has continued and Bulgaria should be able to implement the acquis relating to restrictive practices and state aid after accession. Bulgaria has not requested any transitional arrangements and is meeting its commitments.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.