EC opens two new infringement proceedings against Bulgaria

The European Commission said on December 2 that it opened two infringement procedures against Bulgaria and escalated five existing cases as part of its latest infringements package.

In the first of the two new cases where the EC sent letters of formal notice, Bulgaria was one of five member states to incorrectly apply EU rules establishing a European criminal records information system (ECRIS).

The Commission said that it identified problems related “to electronic interconnection and effective exchange of criminal records information via ECRIS, as well as notification of all new convictions and updates on the convictions to the member state(s) of the offender’s nationality.”

With the second letter of formal notice, Bulgaria was one of 18 EU member states told that they had not “properly implemented the EU rules on a proportionality test before adoption of new regulation of professions.”

“The lack of proper implementation of the EU rules on proportionality tests could ultimately disadvantage consumers in the form of excessive prices, undermine the development of innovative services or even lead to insufficient access to important services,” the Commission said.

Four of the five cases in which the EC sent a reasoned opinion, the second stage of infringement proceedings, related to Bulgaria’s shortcomings in implementing EU rules on financial services.

These referred to the failure to notify national measures transposing the Capital Requirements Directive V as regards investment firms; failure to notify national implementing measures transposing the Investment Firms Directive; failure to update national laws exempting entities authorised under the Regulation on European Crowdfunding service providers; and failure to communicate any required national measures to implement the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) Review Directive amending Solvency II, MIFID and AMLD4 directives.

In the fifth case, Bulgaria was sent a reasoned opinion concerning the country’s lack of implementation of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources.

Bulgaria has two months to respond to the arguments raised by the Commission in its reasoned opinions, otherwise the Commission said it may decide to bring the cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

(European Commission headquarters Berlaymont building. Photo: JLogan)

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