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.
The most important sectors of Bulgaria’s economy in 2016 were industry (23.8 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (22.2 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (14.1 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 68% of Bulgaria’s exports (Germany 14%, Italy 9% and Romania 9%), while outside the EU 8% go to Turkey and 2% to China.
In terms of imports, 67% come from EU countries (Germany 13%, Italy 8% and Romania 7%), while outside the EU 9% come from Russia and 6% from Turkey.
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.
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:
The following link is a redirection to an external websiteCurrent presidency of the Council of the EU
The Commissioner nominated by Bulgaria to the European Commission is Mariya Gabriel, who is responsible for Digital Economy and Society.
The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
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.
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.
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.
Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared 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 to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.
Breakdown of Bulgaria’s finances with the EU in 2017:
More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:
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.