EC opens infringement cases against Bulgaria on energy plans, radiation protection

The European Commission said on September 29 that it opened two infringement proceedings against Bulgaria and was advancing the infringement proceedings in another case as part of its latest infringements package.

The first of two new cases concerned Bulgaria’s failure to notify its national long-term strategy under Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action.

As part of its goal to become climate-neutral by 2050, the EU has set a target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, the Commission said in a statement.

To reach that goal, the directive requires EU member states to have drafted long-term strategies by January 1 2020. Bulgaria is yet to communicate its strategy to the Commission and has two months to do so.

In the second case, the EC sent Bulgaria a letter of formal notice, asking the country to correctly transpose “certain requirements” of Directive 2013/59/Euratom, which sets out revised rules on radiation protection.

The directive “lays down basic safety standards to protect members of the public, workers and patients against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation.” The Commission statement did not say which provisions Bulgaria had to amend.

The letters of formal notice give Bulgaria two months to respond, or the Commission could escalate the case by sending a reasoned opinion, the second stage in the infringement proceedings.

The Commission said that it was taking that very step regarding the ongoing proceedings against Bulgaria over its failure to provide updated flood risk maps as required by Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks.

“This year’s floods in Bulgaria […] demonstrate the ever-increasing importance of assessing flood risks in the light of climate change impacts,” the EC said in a statement.

Despite receiving a letter of formal notice in February, Bulgaria was yet to provide the information requested by the Commission.

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)

Please support independent journalism by clicking on the orange button below. For as little as three euro a month or the equivalent in other currencies, you can support The Sofia Globe via and get access to exclusive subscriber-only content:

Become a Patron!



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.