The European Commission said on March 21 that it has requested Bulgaria to abolish legal provisions that restricted the free movement of capital.
Under the country’s Privatisation and Post-Privatisation Control Act, when even one shareholder in a privatised firm breached commitments made in a privatisation contract, the Bulgarian state has special rights to impose mortgages and other security measures, not only on the property of that shareholder but also and in addition on the property of the privatised company, the EC said in a statement.
If Bulgaria did not abolish these special rights, this could deter already existing EU investment in Bulgaria and dissuade others from investing in the future, the EC said.
“As Bulgaria has not yet repealed these restrictions, the Commission requests Bulgaria, in the form of a reasoned opinion, to take action to fully comply with EU rules,” the EC said.
The reasoned opinion is the second stage of infringement procedures that the EC can launch against member states, meaning that Bulgaria has two months to inform the Commission of the measures taken to address the issue.
Failure to respond could lead to the Commission referring the cases to the European Court of Justice.
(European Commission headquarters, Berlaymont building. Photo: JLogan)