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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Main executive and legislative bodies

Bulgaria

1.Political, social and economic background and trends

1.2Main executive and legislative bodies

Last update: 27 November 2023

In accordance with the Constitution, Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic based on the principles of separation of powers into:

  • legislative
  • executive
  • judicial.

The President of the Republic is the Head of State as well as the Commander-in-Chief of the Bulgarian Army.

The President presides over the National Security Council. In addition to these mostly representative functions, specified by the Constitution, he is entitled to other rights, the most important of which are:

  • to impose a suspensory veto on laws adopted by the National Assembly
  • to appoint the supreme command of the Bulgarian Army and the Ambassadors of Bulgaria in other countries.

The President is elected directly by the people in a majoritarian system for a period of 5 years and can be re-elected only once.

Legislative power is exercised by the National Assembly (Parliament) which is elected for a period of 4 years through a mixed-electoral system by all Bulgarian citizens aged 18 and older. Parliament’s headquarter is in Sofia and it is empowered by the Constitution to adopt laws, resolutions, declarations, strategies, etc. (including in the sphere of education).

Executive power is a prerogative of the Council of Ministers which is presided by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is elected by the Parliament for a period of 4 years. It is their responsibility to propose the structure and the staff of the Council of Ministers.

The Prime Minister may also propose a cabinet reshuffle to the Parliament before the expiration of the mandate.

The Council of Ministers prepares and initiates laws, develops and adopts national programs and strategies, prepares and adopts secondary normative acts, such as decrees, decisions, and regulations aimed at implementation of laws and other strategic documents. The Council of Ministers also determines and appoints the regional governors who are bodies of the executive power in the relevant administrative units (Regions).

Administrative Territorial Division of the Republic of Bulgaria by the Constitution stipulates that the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria is divided into regions and municipalities.

The administrative territorial units in which local self-government takes place are called Municipalities

In other areas, which are also administrative territorial units, state government is carried out locally in line with regional interests. The Head of the Region is the Governor, who is appointed by the Council of Ministers and assisted by the regional administration. Local administration is carried out in the regions and they are the foundation on which the territorial administration is implemented.

There are 28 administrative regions in Bulgaria including the city of Sofia which is set as a separate administrative unit with the status of a region (Sofia-capital).

Administrative Division.JPG

Figure1:

Regions of the country are established by a decree of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria. /OG,N.2/08.01.1999/: Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Veliko Tarnovo, Varna, Vidin, Vratsa, Gabrovo, Dobrich, Kardzali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofia-capital, Sofia, Stara Zagora, Targovishte, Haskovo, Shumen and Yambol /Fig. 1/

The Constitution of Republic of Bulgaria defines the municipality as a major administrative territorial unit, where local self-government takes place as a legal person.

Its status is settled in the local government legislation. The legislatively defined public political status of the municipality has three aspects: political, territorial and juridical. From the point of view of secondary education, the most important is the status of the municipality as a legal entity.

This status entitles the municipality to have its property and budget, such asmunicipal kindergartens and municipal schools.