Bulgarian President Roumen Radev said on January 25 that he had vetoed amendments to the country’s Energy Act, passed by Parliament earlier this month.
The bill allows the country’s electric grid operator ESO to use an imbalance settlement period of one hour until the end of 2023.
In his veto motives, Radev said that the bill was in breach of EU rules, outlined in Regulation (EU) 2017/2195 and Regulation (EU) 2019/943, which stipulate a harmonised imbalance settlement period of 15 minutes in EU member states.
Radev said that the existing regulatory regime had a number of benefits for the electric grid, traders and a positive social impact, which would be disrupted by the amended law, with a negative financial impact on consumers.
“The stability of the legal framework and the orderly legal regulation are a feature of the rule of law, which precludes the adoption of legislative acts in contradiction with norms that take precedence [as EU law does],” Radev said in his motives.
Bulgaria’s constitution grants the head of state a limited power of veto, through enabling the President to return legislation to the National Assembly for further discussion. The National Assembly may overturn the President’s veto through a simple majority vote or accept the veto and review the vetoed clauses.
Since taking office in January 2017, Radev made liberal use of the power and this was his 30th vetoed bill.
The National Assembly overturned the veto on all but three occasions – two cases when the provisions in question were withdrawn and one instance where the government coalition at the time failed to muster the support needed to overturn the veto.
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