Official EU language(s): Bulgarian
EU member country: since 1 January 2007
Currency: Bulgarian lev BGN. Bulgaria has committed to adopt the euro once it fulfils the necessary conditions.
Schengen: Bulgaria is currently in the process of joining the Schengen area.
Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic. The head of government - the prime minister - holds the most powerful executive position. The head of state - the president - primarily holds representative powers as well as limited veto powers. Bulgaria is a unitary state with a centralised structure. It consists of 27 provinces and a metropolitan capital province (Sofia-Grad). The regional governors are appointed by the government.
Trade and economy
The most important sectors of Bulgaria’s economy in 2018 were industry (23.1%), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (22.6%) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (14.1%).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 69% of Bulgaria’s exports (Germany 15%, Italy 9% and Romania 9%), while outside the EU 8% go to Turkey and 3% to China.
In terms of imports, 64% come from EU Member States (Germany 12%, Italy 8% and Romania 7%), while outside the EU 10% come from Russia and 6% from Turkey.
Bulgaria in the EU
Council of the EU
In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Bulgarian government, depending on the policy area being addressed.
Presidency of the Council of the EU
The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.
During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.
Dates of Bulgarian presidencies:
European Economic & Social Committee
Bulgaria has 12 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.
European Committee of the Regions
Bulgaria has 12 representatives on the European Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.
Permanent representation to the EU
Bulgaria also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Bulgaria's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.
Budgets and Funding
How much does Bulgaria pay and receive?
How much each EU country pays into the EU budget is calculated fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa.
The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather focuses on the needs of Europeans as a whole.
2018 figures for Bulgaria:
- Total EU spend in Bulgaria – € 2.169 billion
(equivalent to 3.91% of the Bulgarian economy)
- Total contribution to EU budget – € 0.487 billion
(equivalent to 0.88% of the Bulgarian economy)
More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:
EU-funded projects in Bulgaria
The money paid into the EU budget by Bulgaria helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries - like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.
Find out more about how Bulgaria benefits from EU funding.