Single Market-related pending cases: 42(17 new cases, including 6 on transport, and 4 cases closed; last report: 29 pending cases) – new marked increase (by 13 cases), the 3rd highest percentage increase within a year (+45%) and the highest number of cases ever for Bulgaria.
EU average = 31 cases
Bulgaria’s number of cases has been steadily increasing since December 2017 (from 15 to 42 cases, a 180% increase). It is now among the 5 Member States with the highest number of pending cases, well above the EU average.
The last year has seen the launch of 198 new cases (not including those for late transposition), which were still pending on 1 December 2020. With 17 such cases (the highest number among the Member States), Bulgaria more than doubles the EU average of 7 new cases launched within a year. In addition, 4 Bulgarian cases have been resolved since December 2019, which is less than the EU average (5) of such cases.
Problematic sectors: environment (12 cases), including 4 on particular atmospheric pollution and 3 on waste management; transport (11 cases), in particular sustainable & intelligent transport and transport safety (4 cases each) = 55% of all pending cases.
Average case duration: 21.6 months for the 38 Single Market-related cases not yet sent to the Court (last report: 25.3 months) – new decrease by 3.7 months (the 2nd highest decrease within a year) and the shortest average case duration.
EU average = 37.3 months
The decrease in the average duration of Bulgarian cases is impressive (-56% since December 2017). Nevertheless, the main reason for this fall is a huge increase in the number of infringement cases. The number of Bulgarian cases that have been pending for a long time (4 cases for between 5 and 10 years) is offset by the launch of a very high number (17) of new cases (whose average duration is less than 12 months), which have a big impact on the average duration.
Compliance with Court rulings: 60.7 months for the only Single Market-related case at this stage of the procedure and closed in the last 5 years (last report: 16.2 months).
EU average = 31.7 months
Bulgaria has now the 3rd longest time lag among the 24 Member States that complied with the Court’s judgments within the last 5 years. It is the Member State whose average compliance increased the most within the last year (+44.5 months). This is because its single case (in December 2019) that was solved 16.2 months after the Court ruling is now more than 5 years old and is no longer part of the calculation. It is replaced by a case on distortion of the market for electronic/ broadcasting services closed within the year that needed 60.7 months for compliance.