EC raps Bulgaria over regulator's lack of independence

29 Nov 2007

The European Commission (EC) has said it has opened infringement proceedings against Bulgaria over its telecoms regulator’s lack of independence and effectiveness. ‘As the Commission has identified serious violations of the EU legal provisions in this respect in Bulgaria, it launched today infringement proceedings against Bulgaria,’ the EC said in a statement. The long list of shortcomings include the year-long delay in the appointment of a new chairman of the Telecoms Regulation Commission, an incomplete board and lack of funding, which have all contrived to prevent the regulator from carrying out is core tasks. ‘Neither meetings with the Bulgarian authorities nor several letters from the Commission have resolved these problems,’ the Commission added.

Bulgaria thus becomes the third EU member state against which the EC’s executive has launched infringement proceedings for lack of independence of the national telecoms regulator, joining Poland and Slovakia. The Bulgarian regulator countered, saying that it had no powers to change the problems outlined by the EC, which need to be solved by other institutions, in this case the cabinet and the parliament.