All comparisons are with the figures for 10 December 2020, the previous reporting date.
The last 2 years, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Member State authorities to address pressing priorities and affected their performance in transposing EU rules to some degree. In this context, the Commission has taken a number of extraordinary measures aimed at relieving the strain on Member States’ administrative resources. Nevertheless, it has also made clear that the Member States’ legal obligations to transpose EU directives in time remain unchanged.
Transposition deficit (percentage of all directives not transposed): 2.2% (last report: 1.6%) – a marked increase of 0.6 percentage points. This is Bulgaria’s highest deficit ever, and the country is one of six Members States whose deficit is more than double the 1% target set by the European Council.
EU average = 1.6%; proposed target (in the Single Market Act) = 0.5%
Except in 2016 and 2017, when Member States had to transpose an unusually high number of directives, Bulgaria used to constantly perform well on this criterion. However, it has missed the target in the last 2 years, and its deficit in 2021 has never been so high. In addition, Bulgaria did not transpose 13 of the 26 single market directives (50%) due to have been transposed in the 6 months before the cut-off date for calculating the deficit (1 June to 30 November 2021). This shows that Bulgaria may have some difficulties organising the timely transposition of directives. Constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic did not help. However, transposition is an ongoing process and any let-up may result in the deficit quickly increasing.
Overdue directives: 22 (last report: 16), including 6 on financial services and 4 on energy. One directive is more than 2 years overdue (Directive (EU) 2018/350 amending Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the environmental risk assessment of genetically modified organisms).
Average delay in transposing directives: 8.1 months (last report: 6.9 months) – an increase of 1.2 months, but the average delay is still below the EU average.
EU average = 8.6 months
Adding one long-overdue directive (due for more than 2 years) to its particularly high backlog was partly offset by 15 out of the 21 other outstanding directives being overdue by less than 6 months.
Conformity deficit (percentage of all directives transposed incorrectly): 2.1% (last report: 1.9%) – an increase of 0.2 percentage points. This is Bulgaria’s highest deficit ever and the third highest deficit among Member States.
EU average = 1.3%; proposed target (in the Single Market Act) = 0.5%
The number of new infringement proceedings that the Commission has launched against Member States for incorrectly transposing single market directives has more than halved in 2 years. Nevertheless, the number of ongoing cases is still high. With 20 directives presumed to have been incorrectly transposed, Bulgaria is one of 5 Member States that have both a high transposition deficit and a high percentage of incorrectly transposed directives.
All comparisons are with the figures for 1 December 2020, the previous reporting date.
Pending single market cases: 38 (7 new cases and 11 cases closed, including 5 on transport; last report: 42 pending cases) – a decrease of 4 cases but still well above the EU average.
EU average = 27 cases
Bulgaria’s number of pending cases has decreased for the first time since December 2018. The country is no longer in the top five of Member States with the highest number of cases.
The Commission launched of 120 new cases against Member States in the reporting period (besides those for late transposition), and these were still pending on 1 December 2021. A total of 7 cases were launched against Bulgaria, which is almost double the EU average of 4 new cases launched in the reporting period. However, 11 Bulgarian cases have been resolved since December 2020, which is better than the EU average (8).
Problematic sectors: the environment (11 cases), including 4 on atmospheric pollution; transport (8 cases), in particular transport safety (4); energy (5) and services and professions (5). Together, these make up 76% of all pending cases.
Average case duration: 29.9 months for the 35 single market cases not yet sent to the European Court of Justice (last report: 21.6 months) – this is a marked increase of 8.3 months. Bulgaria no longer has the shortest average case duration.
EU average = 42.8 months
The average duration of Bulgarian cases has significantly increased by 24% in the last 3 years. However, Bulgaria is one of six Member States whose duration of cases is below the 36-month indicative target. Of the 35 pending cases, only 4 cases have been pending for a long time (between 6 and 11 years). Their duration has been offset by the launch of 7 new cases (whose average duration is less than 12 months).
Time taken to comply with Court rulings: 37.1 months for the two single market cases at the Court-ruling stage of the procedure and closed in the last 5 years (last report: 60.7 months).
EU average = 46.8 months
In December 2020, Bulgaria was the Member State whose average time to comply increased the most in a year (+44.5 months). By contrast, in this reporting period, its average time to comply decreased the most among Member States (-23.6 months). Bulgaria closed a case on distortion of the market for electronic/broadcasting services closed last year after 60.7 months. The country also managed to recently resolve a case on railway safety just 13.6 months after the Court ruling.
Evolution of infringement cases
Internal Market Information System (Bulgaria)
Performance – Bulgaria’s performance remained poor.
- As in previous years, all five indicators were well below the EEA average.
- The speed in answering requests, timeliness of replies and the percentage of requests accepted within 1 week were particularly low and further decreased compared to the previous year.
- Requests replied within deadline and satisfaction of respondents in surveys improved.
Technical regulations information system (Bulgaria)
- Caseload – large
Submitted cases: 337 (425 in 2020)
Received cases: 34 (21 in 2020)
Cases not accepted: 256 (218 in 2020)
- Resolution rate:100% (95% in 2020)
- Handling time (as home centre)
Reply within 7 days: 95% (98% in 2020) – very good
Cases prepared within 30 days: 88% (91% in 2020) – good
Solutions accepted within 7 days:78% (81% in 2020 ) – good
Cases not accepted within 30 days: 70% (70% in 2020) - poor
- Handling time (as lead centre)
Cases accepted within 7 days: 88% (95% in 2020) – good
Cases closed in 10 weeks: 78% (90% in 2020) – good
- Staffing level
Payment delays (Bulgaria)
In 2022, the average payment delay (the time exceeding the legal or contractually agreed payment terms) by Bulgarian public authorities was 15 days.
The average number of days needed for a business to have its invoices paid by other businesses (business-to-business payments) was 53.40 days.
Responsive administration and burden of regulation (Bulgaria)
|Burden of government regulation (survey replies: 1 = worst, 7 = best)||3.8||3.6|
|Digital public services to start and run a business (100% = best performing)||76.2%||n/a|
|Payment delays by public authorities||15 days||15.7 days|
|Time to resolve insolvency||3.3 years||2.0 years|
|Impact of regulation on long-term investment decisions (survey replies)||19.6%||n/a|
Access to public procurement (Bulgaria)
|No calls for bids||25%||6%|
|Publication rate (value advertised on Tenders Electronic Daily, in % of GDP)||14.9%||5.9%|
|Cooperative procurement (proportion of procedures with more than one buyer)||1%||5%|
|Award criteria (proportion of procedures awarded to cheapest bid)||84%||64%|
|Decision speed (days)||120||99|
|Procedures divided into lots||34%||31%|
|Missing calls for bids||4%||1%|
|Missing seller registration numbers||2%||29%|
|Missing buyer registration numbers||0%||11%|
Note: A typical (mid-ranking) EU country is used for the EU average for all indicators except the publication rate. Due to delays in data availability, publication rate results are based on 2020 data.
Access to services and services markets (Bulgaria)
|Restrictiveness indicator – architect||2.7||2.5|
|Restrictiveness indicator – accountant||0.8||1.7|
|Restrictiveness indicator – civil engineer||2.8||2.4|
|Restrictiveness indicator – lawyer||3.5||3.4|
|Restrictiveness indicator – real estate agent||0.0||1.3|
|Restrictiveness indicator – patent agent||1.8||2.2|
|Restrictiveness indicator – tourist guide||2.4||1.2|
|Domestic priority letter prices, letter 20 g (2020)||€ 0.56||€ 0.88|
|Intra-EU priority letter prices, letter 20 g (2020)||€ 1.18||€ 1.53|
|Domestic transit times, day+1 performance, priority letters 20 g (2020)||53.4%||84.2%|
Note: The EU restrictiveness indicator (EURI) measures the level of restrictiveness for the cross-border provision of services and the right of establishment for seven groups of professional services with a high share in EU firms’ intermediate consumption or cross-border mobility. The level of restrictiveness is measured on a scale from 0 (least restrictive) to 6 (most restrictive).
Access to finance (Bulgaria)
|Access to public financial support (% of SMEs indicating deterioration)||22.5%||11.3%|
|Time to get paid by businesses (2022 survey)||53.4 days||52.5 days|
|Venture capital investments (% of GDP)||0.04%||0.48%|