Bulgarian MPs vote to accept presidential veto on Investment Promotion Act

Bulgarian Parliament voted on April 30 to revise the bill amending the country’s Investment Promotion Act, accepting the veto imposed on part of the bill by President Roumen Radev earlier this week.

The veto was opposed by the GERB-UDF and Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) parties that backed the bill in the House, but was backed by all other parties in the National Assembly.

Radev vetoed a number of provisions of the bill, arguing that they would “endanger the constitutionally-guaranteed right of Bulgarian citizens to a healthy environment.”

Among the provisions that Radev objected to was the easing of restrictions on state-owned enterprises to sell or exchange assets without tender at prices below market valuation. The veto motives argued that it was passed without an impact assessment or taking into account the opinions of potential stakeholders.

The provision extending the validity of environmental impact assessment reviews breached the constitution by having retroactive effect, the motives said.

Radev also vetoed provisions envisioning shorter deadlines for regulatory bodies to rule on investment proposals and expanding the definition of strategic projects, as well as limiting judicial recourse on some categories of investment projects.

The vote in Parliament was only the sixth time that MPs accepted a veto imposed by Radev since the current head of state took office in January 2017, but the fourth time they did so since the start of 2023.

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. Parliament may overturn the President’s veto through a simple majority vote or accept the veto and review the vetoed clauses.

Radev has vetoed 36 bills in his time as head of state and his veto was overturned on all but seven occasions – the six times that the veto was accepted by MPs and one instance where the government coalition at the time failed to muster the support needed to overturn it.

(Photo: parliament.bg)



The Sofia Globe staff

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