Country Profile: Bulgaria

AuthorNaldini, Andrea; Pompili, Marco; Peruccacci, Eleonora
Int roduct ion
Bulgar ia is a fairly centralised country. Public policies are managed at the central
gover nm ental lev el. State aid schem es ar e handled by three Ministries: the Ministry of
Fina nce, t he Minis tr y o f Ag ric ult ur e an d Fis her ies, an d t he Mini str y of Defe nce. How eve r,
none has t he legal obligat ion to assess the im pact of St at e aids. The Bulgarian
authorities do not have an established evaluation cult ur e and practice. Hence, th e
followin g sections cover m ostly the national rules for legal compliance, ex-ant e
evaluation of St at e aid schemes, the government al au thorit ies char ged wit h this
funct ion, and t he est ablished guidelines for ex -ant e evaluat ions.
3.1. Section 1 - Nat ional rules for t he evaluat ion of State aid schemes
3.1. 1. Obligation or lack ther eof to evaluate Evaluation obligation or lack of it
The Bulgarian legal fr am ewor k contains no legal obligation t o evaluate pub lic policies.
Currently, the only mandat ory public policy evaluat ions pract ised in the count ry are
wi thi n t he fram ew ork of EU dir ect ives, fo r e xam ple those rela ted t o t he ma nage men t o f
EU funds, which include ex-ante evaluations, impact assessm ents, and ex-post
evaluations r elated to all EU funds wit hin operational programm es. The only legal
obligation in relation t o State aid schemes is t o carry out legal com pliance ex-ant e
assessment s.
The prim ary law wh ich defines and regulate s State aid schem es in Bulgar ia i s th e St ate
aid Act 94(2017). The State aid Act defines St ate aid as: “any aid, grant ed by the State
or t hr ough st at e or m unicipal r esources, or on behalf of st at e or m un icipal resources,
directly or through ot her persons, in any for m whatsoev er, which d ist ort s or threat ens
to d istort fr ee compet ition by favou ring certain en terprises, th e pr oducti on o r t he t rad e
of cer tain goods, or the deliv ery of certain ser vices.”
The State aid Act and t he instruct ions provided by the Minist ry of Finance for the
implement at ion of State aid evaluat ion focus on ex-ant e evaluations. I n the State aid
Act, the aid Administrat ors are considered responsible f or carr ying out impact
evaluations and ar e required to r eport to the Minister of Fin ance. However, neith er t he
State aid Act nor the Public Finan ce Act, define or specify the obligation, guidance or
pr ocedures for im pact evalu ation of St ate aid.
3.1. 2. Procedu res to en force evaluati on obligat ion
According t o Art icle 21 para. 1 of the Public Finance Act 95 regu lating the obligat ion of
car rying ou t ex-ant e ev aluat ions, the heads of budgetary organ isation s are r esponsib le
for the establishment , operation and report ing of finan cial managem ent and contr ol
systems under the legislation in force. I n t his respect , budgetary organisat ions at
national, regional and local level are required to implement legal compliance ex-ant e
evaluations specifically concerning State aid. All ex-ante evaluations follow the
Instru ction s for assessing compliance w it h St at e aid
94 State aid Act (). State Gazette No. 85/24.10.2017. Available online at:
ht tp s: //stateaid.mi nfi do cum ent/ 711
95 Public Finance Act (), Prom. SG 15/02/2013, in force from 01/01/2014 ,
am ended, issue 95 from 8.12. 2015 , effect ive f rom 01 /01 /2016 , am ended and Suppl., Issue 43 of 7 June
20 16, Issu e 91 of 14/ 11/ 20 17.

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