Category Archives: Events







Tsvetan Simeonov – President of  BULGARIAN COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY 

Cyril Domuschiev – President of the  Confederation of Employers and industrialists  IN BULGARIA 



This signal approach the Commission for Protection of Competition to investigate the actions of a group of participants in the free electricity market, which we consider his behavior impermissibly violate the principles of freedom of contract and competition enshrined in the Bulgarian legislation.

Our factual statements are based on analysis of publicly available information.

The specific facts and circumstances are as follows:

A significant part of the electricity produced by privately owned facilities in the country, is under direct or indirect control of entities that are related parties within the meaning of §1 of the additional provisions of the Commerce Act. Addresses the following companies:

EİK Electric power, MW
HEATING – BURGAS EAD 102011085  18
DHC Pernik AD 113012360 105
HEATING – PLEVEN EAD 114005624 68.18
HEATING RUSE EAD 117005106 400
HEATING – BT PLC 104003977 2.81
HEATING Vratsa EAD 106006256 6.24
HEATING Sliven EAD 119004654 12.71
HEATING Gabrovo Ltd. 107009273 12
BRIKEL 123526494 200
TPP – Bobov Dol EAD 109513731 630
Maritsa 3 AD 126526421 908

Total installed power of 2362, 94 MW

The electricity produced by the above companies, is sold on the open market electricity company trader “Grand Energy Distribution” associated with the entities – manufacturers. We should highlight the fact that the trader “Grand Energy Distribution” under the agreement represents “Heat Sofia” Ltd. in the sale of electricity produced from cogeneration company with a capacity of 186 MW.

The presence of connectivity between the owners of production facilities and subject – trader on the open market is a concentration which objectively creates conditions for market manipulation.

There are conditions to artificially create electricity shortages by restricting their production and simultaneously buying by traders linked the entire offer of state-owned companies – producers of electricity on the exchange.

Separately, under the control of the owners of production facilities is an insurance company.

The insurance company issuing insurance policies as a form of guarantee security when buying electricity mainly to group vendors associated with the manufacturer, which directly creates competitive advantage. This circumstance suggests that it is possible and purchased power would not be paid and strengthens non-market advantage.

From those circumstances it can be reasonably assumed an unacceptable concentration under the Law on Protection of Competition.

On the other hand – the market behavior of the above players on the electricity market creates doubts about the existence of a cartel in the following areas:

“Grand Energy Distribution,” European Trade off Energy “,” Saga Commodities “,” TM Technology “,” Energy Invest Europe “- all related entities – owners of production facilities, participated in a tender sessions of the Bulgarian independent energy market during the period from November 2018 to January 2019 under which dealt offered by NPP “Kozloduy” amounts of electricity at the rate of about 500 MW.

Each of these traders bought on the basis of a bilateral agreement electricity from the proposed NPP “Kozloduy” and formally in each of the contracts is complied with in the tender documentation for the purchase of quantities of up to 10 MWh, respectively 20 MWh from a buyer.

Practically all the electricity offered during those trading sessions, was purchased by the companies.

Shows a clear trend is an essential part of the electricity sold on the free market to be purchased by listed companies while eliminating other traders.

Our data indicate that subsequently purchased electricity is traded between the above vendors based on bilateral agreements. Redistributed among these merchants amounts of electricity sold to their clients – private entities and public entities under conditions and prices that surround stock market mechanism.

On 19/06/2019, the NEC organized a tender for the sale of 98MVt for the period 01.07-30.09.2019, the foretold that favors only one possible buyer potentially al available hourly amount between 0MVt and 490MVt. Following the intervention of employers’ organizations that infamous auction was canceled, meanwhile NEC organize two tenders for the same day, again with conditions doubtful favoring one potential participant, but also those tenders were canceled. Ultimately NEC held a desired auction on 01.07.2019 and realized electricity potential al available hourly amount between 0MVt and 250MVt, which amount to 80% is bought from two related companies mentioned above. Therefore the trend toward concentration deepened with the active assistance of NEC. We insist to check this auction.

The registration system allows BNEB to check the link between the offered items (quantity and price) on the “day ahead” of the aforementioned related companies and those of the NEC for the period 12.1.2018 14.7.2019 on-on – we have grounds to assume coordination and resulting from the steady high hourly rates.

Deserves attention and study coordinated behavior between those dealers and major exporters of electricity by GEN-I, Danske Commodities, Alpiq over the same period, the 12/01/2018, 07/14/2019, the identifiable as through bilateral agreements between them and by quoted positions (quantity and price) segment “Day ahead”. In this regard should be given to the data for cross system of ESO closed internal transactions between these entities (without physical cross-border transfer) and hourly rates achieved for the period segment “Day Ahead”.

Those facts give clear indications of manipulation of the free market in electricity and the implementation of certain entities of non-market business practices.

A direct consequence of the actions of economically related entities is limiting the ability of other traders on the open electricity market to purchase electricity under clear and competitive conditions.

The described pattern of the above companies disrupt the functioning of the liberalized electricity market. Thus creating conditions for a permanent electricity shortages and distorted price formation. This process directly and negatively affects the functioning of the whole Bulgarian economy.

The severity and scale of the problem motivated us to take any legal action to prevent a deepening of this trend and unlawful practices stopped.

Ladies and gentlemen members of the Commission for Protection of Competition

Please initiated proceedings under the Law on Protection of Competition and ordered a review of the above facts and circumstances, with a view to establishing whether there is a legal hypothesis unacceptable concentration and / or cartel among those listed in the complaint subjects – participants in the free market of electricity.

We express our readiness, if necessary, to provide additional information available.


Teenage Hacker Girl Attacks Corporate Servers in Dark, Typing on Red Lit Laptop Keyboard. Room is Dark

Trust in statehood is fundamental to every society, and democratic is key. The breakthrough in the personal data system is a breakthrough in this confidence, and any attempt to sweep away what happened has ruined the Bulgarian state. Therefore, BICA insists on a full investigation of the case by independent external experts and assuming appropriate responsibility.

In the age of ubiquitous digitalization, such an event can only be described as a disaster. The facts speak for themselves – leaked NRA databases show a drastic breakthrough in the protection of individuals’ rights in the processing of their personal data, a failure to fulfill obligations for our country arising from Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data and repealing Directive 95/46 / EC (General Data Protection Regulation) (OJ L 119/1 of 4 May 2016), including compromised data n millions of Bulgarian citizens contained in contracts, information on remuneration, income, credits, IPs, declarations, names, PINs, addresses, data of Bulgarian companies with their UIC and addresses, emails, car registration numbers, certificate numbers for electronic signatures; the full NRA organization chart with hashed passwords and complete NRA employees’ positions; data of Bulgarians living abroad who receive pensions outside Bulgaria and have refused health insurance in Bulgaria.

We are particularly concerned about the facts reported that the theft of the data took place 20 days before its discovery, and the NRA did not at all report and register the illegal extraction of the data from their servers, and it was only after the publication of some of the information that the theft was detected. All of this speaks to a low level of data protection and security, to the incompetence or negligence of those responsible, which jeopardizes national security and the functioning of the state.

Against the backdrop of what has happened, even more outrageous and inexplicable is the desire of the NRA through Regulation 18, which is useless for the fiscal but at the risk of companies, to “peek” on-line in their technological and commercial secrets.

BICA calls on the executive to immediately draw up and implement an action plan to mitigate the incident and manage the resulting risks, and to publicly announce who is responsible for this unprecedented catastrophe and what penalties will be imposed.

BICA is deeply concerned about the many alarming failures of the state’s digital policy, namely the problems with the commercial register, the switch to electronic vignettes, and more. Such failures are extremely disturbing, unacceptable and shameful for a country that claims to be a regional leader in information technology.

BICA stresses that such catastrophes will continue in the future if there is no immediate change in the way the state works with the electronic data of Bulgarian citizens and Bulgarian business. The creation, maintenance and management of e-services is a continuous process, with security being at the forefront of designing systems. State institutions, as well as external experts and security companies should audit and try to break through the infrastructure, and the State Agency for Electronic Governance should impose minimum security criteria for the design and implementation of e-services by state institutions. In this regard, in order to prevent such events, BICA insists on an immediate audit of IT security in all government institutions when implementing eGovernment, which should have long been the case.



The Business to the Rules composite index, through which Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) measures the bright part of the Bulgarian economy, rose 4.55 points and reached a record high of 79.10 points. The data was announced today at a press conference at which BICA announced the index for the ninth consecutive year.

BICA calculates the Light Economy Composite Index from 2010. By 2013, it grew steadily, with the only drop of 1.2 points in 2014. Since 2015, its upward trend has continued:
The increase in value for the past year reflects not only objective positive phenomena and processes in the economy, which are reported by the statistical sub-index, but also a positive change in the assessments of business and employees for the dynamics and share of the informal economy, which is accounted for by the sociological sub-index (though to a lesser extent).

Analysis of the Composite Index shows an increase in the value of both sub-indices. The statistical index registered a growth of 4.4% and the sociological one – 0.15%. This means that real successes have not yet been evaluated by employers and employees and that a more serious information campaign is needed.

The main reasons for the positive trends are the financial and economic stability in the country, the new measures taken to improve the business environment and curb the informal economy, increase the volume of exports of Bulgaria, the general decrease in the intensity of the main stress factors that create negative psychological moods. business, as well as the lack of migration pressure across our country’s borders.

BICA reports that in 2018 the reasons for holding back the positive trends in the change in the Index of Light Economy are the lack of manpower, which is a major problem of Bulgarian business, the new sharp administrative increase in the minimum wage, which in turn has led to an increase in “gray” practices in some sectors. The external factors that have contributed to the rise in the index are Turkey’s deepening economic crisis, ongoing EU sanctions on Russia and relevant counter-sanctions, as well as emerging trade conflicts between the US and China, the US and the EU and the US and its partners, NAFTA.

BICA Announces Nominations for “Business to the Rules” Awards


Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) has announced the nominations for the Sixth “Business to the rules” Awards. This year’s ceremony will take place on July 1st. The prizes of the most representative employer organization in Bulgaria are awarded in three categories – “For legislation or administrative practice that lead to limiting the informal economy and improving the business environment”, “For a person or organization that contributed to curbing and preventing the informal economy through an active position “and” For a journalist or media contributing to changing public attitudes towards intolerance to the informal economy. “

In the category “For a regulatory act or administrative practice that results in limiting the informal economy and improving the business environment”, the following are distinguished:

  • National Revenue Agency – for conducting two successful campaigns – a control campaign against large cash companies that limits gray practices and for Pay in Envelope, which effectively reduces the risk of unfair competition by hiding part of their salaries;
  • Ministry of Tourism – for the creation of a Unified System for Tourist Information (ETI), by which it guarantees a higher collection of revenues from taxes and fees related to tourism;
  • The Committee on Legal Affairs of the 44th National Assembly – on the amendments to the Criminal Code voted to criminalize the distribution and holding of excise goods without a parcel;
  • Member of the Parliament Hristian Mitev – for the tabled amendment to Art. 37, para. 2 of the Accounting Act, which reduced the administrative and financial burdens on small businesses.

“For a person or organization that contributed to the restriction and prevention of the informal economy through an active position” are nominated:

  • Director of the Risk Management Directorate at the National Revenue Agency Nikolay Petkov – for his overall work on the introduction of a model for risk management from non-compliance with tax and social security legislation;
  • Director of the Copyright and Related Rights Directorate at the Ministry of Culture, Mehti Melikov – for a successful policy in covering the gray sector in the market for television broadcasting;
  • Institute for Market Economics – for an active position regarding overcoming imbalances in the country’s economy and preventing gray economic practices;
  • EA “General Labor Inspectorate” – for efforts to update the system for online submission, registration and reporting of templates of contracts of employment for short-term seasonal agricultural work in a timely manner.

In the third category, “For Journalist or Media Contributing to Changing Public Attitudes to Intolerance to the Informal Economy,” the distinction will be competing:

  • Nova TV journalist Georgi Georgiev;
  • Deutsche Welle’s Bulgarian edition;
  • The presenters of Bloomberg TV Bulgaria’s Business Start program are Zhivka Popanasova and Hristo Nikolov;
  • BTV reporter Nelly Todorova.

The purpose of the annual competition is to highlight examples of success in the fight against the informal economy and to distinguish leading institutions and individuals with an active position and contribution to curbing the informal economy. The awards are part of BICA’s overall work to increase public intolerance of the informal economy, encourage active action in this direction, and promote the constructive role of business in society to improve the socio-economic environment.

The nominations for the awards were made through a broad public consultation among the members of the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria, all social partners, members of the Public Council for Restriction and Prevention of the Informal Economy, comprising representatives of a number of state institutions, and the media. The winners will be cast by secret ballot from a large expert jury consisting of 100 distinguished personalities: prominent economists, public figures, media representatives, members of the BICA’s National and Control Council, the Public Council for the Restriction and Prevention of the Informal Economy, etc.





Dear Mr. Iliev,

Last week was announced a tender for the sale of electricity from NEK EAD platform for bilateral contracts BNEB organized on June 19, 2019 The term of delivery, and declared by the seller deviations give grounds to suppose that this is the power generated from renewable energy sources with a power of between 1 and 4 MW.
Welcoming the decision that electricity can be sold on the free market, we disagree with the way you plan it.
AOBE of opinion is that such a large amount of (potentially over 390 MW) at the specified lead of 98 MW and opportunities to secure future payments by insurance, will rise further speculation as it will be purchased by a single buyer. In the current difficulties in the generation of electricity from coal and expensive emission allowances if and further create conditions for concentration, respectively controlled limited supply, the market will experience chronic power shortages and prices would be easily manipulated.
However, precisely to avoid such risks, the National Assembly passed legislative amendments backing the realization of electricity generated from renewable power between 1 and 4 MW of the free market. Reasons for its decision, the legislature clearly declares that the whole market determine prices and more liquidity in the energy market. Despite initial intentions release of the free market to start with the beginning of the new pricing period, unfortunately, it was delayed by one quarter. Therefore, by the end of September 2019 namely NEK will dispose of this electricity.
Given the foregoing, logically, rationally and market adequately NEK to sell electricity generated from renewable power between 1 and 4 MW, fully exchange segment “Market day ahead.” Recall that this is the segment and recognized by the EC and the Bulgarian legislation to determine the reference market price for past periods. In addition, if NEK adequately structured package short-term products – as a weekly peak around 5MVt products (following, for example, the profile of small photovoltaic) products with different (+) deviations, etc., small volumes (cumulatively to 15 20%) can be placed and the platform for bilateral agreement. This will avoid the possibilities of market manipulation, of what we were repeatedly witnesses.

BICA and Labour Medicine Experts Seek Changes in a Health Insurance System Model


Legislative changes in the model of the health insurance system in Bulgaria and more investments for health prevention and safety at work. The participants in a conference on “Prevention of Health – European Policies and Practices” came together. The event, held under the auspices and with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister Mariana Nikolova, is organized by Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) and Health Prevention Center.

Dr. Hassan Ademov, Chairman of Committee on Labor, Social and Demographic Policy, Executive Director of EA General Inspectorate of Labor Eng. Rumyana Mihailova, Deputy Regional Governor of Plovdibabour 13v Evelina Apostolova, representatives of Ministry of Health participated in the international forum. Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Bulgarian Medical Association and over 100 international and Bulgarian experts on health prevention.

“Bulgarian enterprises face a number of problems and challenges, such as a growing deficit and an increasing average age of the workforce. Against this background, there is an increase in the proportion of workers with permanently reduced working capacity and an increase in overall morbidity, with an average of one worker absent 8 days a year. Today’s employer is aware that health prevention and prevention is also his responsibility. However, for more prevention, there needs to be legislative changes and more resources to be targeted for prevention so that expensive and often unsuccessful curative activity is avoided, as is currently the case, “said BICA’s Chairman Vasil Velev.

The chairman of the Labor, Social and Demographic Policy Committee, Dr. Hasan Ademov, the Executive Director of IA “General Labor Inspectorate” Eng. Rumyana Mihailova, as well as experts from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs also advocated for more prevention and prevention of health. policy and representatives of trade unions and employers’ organizations. The main goals for improving health prevention were the early detection of diseases, the traceability and the dynamic monitoring of the overall process and the control of risk factors in a company.

Strengthening links between public health and health at work were identified as major priorities. According to experts, the introduction of preventive methods and standards for early diagnosis by age, gender and risk factors of the most common conditions associated with working conditions are among the key measures that need to be taken.

The event touched upon and discussed the challenges of health prevention in our country as well as in Europe, the introduction of European practices for improving the health and productivity of society. Preventive models and standards for early diagnosis were presented in detail in Germany and Northern Macedonia.

Tomorrow at a special seminar the Bulgarian specialists will have an opportunity to get acquainted in detail with the German experience in health prevention, as well as with the tools they use to improve the health of employees and workers.


Photo2 (5)-1500

The future representatives of Bulgaria in the European Parliament must work to promote the competitiveness of the industry, which is at the heart of building a sustainable Social Europe, through better regulation and human resources. In particular, they must insist on the cessation of state aid for the so-called. US plants. Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) and the candidate for the MEP Valery Simeonov united around this.

According to BICA, the contractual terms between NEK EAD and AY and EU Maritza East 1 EOOD and Contour Global Maritza East 3 are in breach of the Treaty establishing the European Community and are considered as unlawful state aid. The contract obliges the Bulgarian state-owned company to buy the long-term energy produced by the two companies at terms and prices that put these power plants in a more favorable economic position compared to other electricity producers in Bulgaria. In the last one-year regulatory period alone, the two power plants seized BGN 548 million from households and businesses in Bulgaria through their high preferential prices for the electricity they produce.

Valery Simeonov and BICA representatives discussed “A 10-point plan for a competitive industry for a sustainable Social Europe”. The document was prepared by the European sectoral employers’ organization CEEMET, which employs 49% of EU manufacturing workers. In early March, the BICA General Assembly fully endorsed the findings and proposals in the Plan and its philosophy.

“For voters, the position of the 10-point MP candidates will certainly be a very important guide in deciding who to vote for. The European industry – metalworking, mechanical engineering, electronics, ICT and related technologies – depends on the overall presentation of the overall EU economy. We all want a sharp increase in funding for education, better healthcare and higher pensions. The point is that in order to earmark these funds, we have to devise them. And that means, first of all, increasing productivity with the combined efforts of managers, employers and workers, “said BICA Vice-President Nikola Zikatanov.

Mr Zikatanov stressed that the European social model can only be supported by a globally competitive European industry and recalled that although 7% of the world population lives in Europe and generates 22% of world GDP, the 28 countries, member states account for 40% of social spending globally. He urged urgent measures to tackle the European labor force shortage by targeting young people with education and qualifications in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, digital technology and making vocational education and training the most preferred choice . He also stressed the need for specific solutions to address the shortage of staff in Bulgaria by facilitating the issuance of residence and work permits in the country and more flexible labor markets.

The BICA has been alarming for years about the growing problem of human resources shortage and has been working systematically to bring the admission system in Bulgaria in line with the demand on the labor market, as well as to increase the attractiveness of professions with a key to competitiveness. Bulgaria importance and prevention of the leakage of specialists abroad. However, these crucial reforms will only come to fruition in a few years. On the other hand, the demographic picture and trends make it clear that the only realistic approach to dealing with the deficit is the recruitment of third parties. For this purpose, the so-called Bulgarian card entitling you to stay and work in the country for a period of 5 years.

During the meeting, the issue of more active development of the investment emigration program in Bulgaria was raised, which allows for attracting foreign capital, allowing third-country nationals to obtain a residence permit or citizenship through investments. As an instrument, investment emigration brings billions of revenue to EU countries, and we have a proposal to end the program. According to BICA representatives, our country is among the first in the EU to introduce such a program in its national legislation in 2009 and insist on maintaining a good opportunity to raise capital in the country.

According to employers, consultation with the industry should become a natural reflex of politicians at all levels and serve to find solutions to the problems of the real economy and its companies. This will ensure that they are fit for global competition and provide quality jobs, funding social Europe. Particular attention was also given to the need to encourage SMEs and to implement specific support measures, especially with regard to access to finance and the challenges of digitization.

Part of the BICA’s requests were also future MEPs to work with social partners to better invest European funds from the next Multi Annual Financial Framework, targeting initiatives to acquire the right skills in new labor market conditions and business requirements. They insisted on taking into account the views of business and social partners when setting funding priorities and formulating and implementing important policies through joint actions by social partners.

Other major topics of discussion were international competitiveness, global trade and Brexit, investment in technology and industry, labor markets, simplification of the regulatory framework, and more.

On the issues discussed, Valery Simeonov and employers found a complete similarity in views.


ПС ВВ и Сие

The coefficient of reduction of the pension from the first pillar in our country born after 01-01-1960 is unfair and restrictive for our economy. In his current calculation he damages the pensioners by 10% and impedes the development of the capital market in Bulgaria. All the participants in the international conference “Multi-pillar pension systems in Europe – benefits and future”, organized by Bulgarian Association of Supplementary Pension Security Companies, came together.

“Poor demographic conditions – an aging population and emigration in recent years are among the prerequisites for a serious deficit in the first pillar of our pension system. According to the NSSI and the Ministry of Finance, currently in Bulgaria the ratio of the employed in the private sector to that of the employed in the budget sector and pensioners is 1.9 people to 2.6 people. By this indicator our country is at the bottom of the ranking not only in the EU. A solution to the problem that creates this disadvantage for the pension system can be sought in the development of the capital pillar. We need to work for better regulation of the second pillar (capital) pension payment phase and develop measures to encourage and attract more social security contributions to it”, said Vasil Velev, a Chairman of Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association.


He added that in the countries with the best pension systems, pension funds own and manage assets worth over 60% of the GDP of the respective country, while in our country this percentage is only 12 percent. In addition, the ratio between the financing of capital market projects and bank lending is twice as unfavorable in the EU than in the US, with Bulgaria at the bottom of the EU ranking.

Former Governor of the National Social Security Institute, Prof. Jordan Hristoskov, urgently needs to take steps to change the Bulgarian pension system. These include the immediate cancellation of the possibility of transferring funds from the second to the first pillar, increasing the contributions in the second pillar from 5% to 10%, even with the cost of reducing the contributions in the first pillar or income tax.

Hristina Mitreva cited the frequently changing labor and pension legislation and the lack of public awareness of pension schemes as obstacles to the development and achievement of the necessary confidence in the pension system in Bulgaria.

According to the participants in the international forum, the three-pillar model is extremely successful and enables various forms of interaction to provide decent and secure pensions. However, they were adamant that the three pillars should not be opposed, but considered as complementary parts of a whole.

The conference also discussed the development of pension policy at national and European level, the benefits of the multi-pillar pension system, which was identified as an alternative at the moment, and the need to significantly increase savings in supplementary pension insurance. The Minister of Labor and Social Policy Biser Petkov, the chairman of the Labor, Social and Demographic Policy Commission Hasan Ademov, the chairman of the National Social Security Institute Ivaylo Ivanov, the chairman of the FSC Boyko Atanasov, the chairman of Pensions Europe Yanvil Bouma, representatives of pension insurance companies took part in the event and the EU, employers’ organizations, trade unions and non-governmental organizations.

BICA alarmed for urgent measures to address staff shortages in the European Union


“Finding the right human resources is the most serious challenge facing employers in Europe, which has a serious negative impact on the economy and society. Europe loses € 0.8 an hour because of a mismatch in labor market demand for employers’ skills”, said in a statement Dr Milena Angelova, Secretary General of BICA, at the Tripartite Meeting of the European Social Partners in Brussels yesterday.

She participated in the meeting as acting chair of the European Center for Public Service Undertakings. Before the President of the Council of the European Union and the Prime Minister of Romania, Ms Dancila, the President of the Council of the European Union Mr Tusk, EU President Mr Juncker, Commissioners-in-Office and Presidents of the European social partners, she urged urgent measures to tackle Europe’s workforce shortages by targeting young people with education and qualifications in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, digital technology and making vocational education and training the most preferred but a choice.


Another focus of her speech was the need to promote the competitiveness of the economy as a prerequisite for maintaining the extremely expensive European social model. “Although Europe’s population is only 7% of the world and GDP is 22%, the 28 member states of Europe account for over 40% of social spending in the world,” she said. In this context, it called for urgent decisions on the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 and for investments in infrastructure and competences sought in the labor market to promote productivity.

BICA has been alarming for years about the growing problem of human resources shortage and has been working systematically to bring the admission system in Bulgaria in line with the demand on the labor market, as well as to increase the attractiveness of professions with a key to competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy.

President of the European Council Mr Tusk stressed that investment is key to overcoming the slowdown in economic growth in Europe. The President of BUSINESSEUROPE, Mr Pierre Gathaz, drew the attention of the Romanian Presidency to the many problems in implementing the directive on seasonal workers and called for their timely resolution. Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission, was also present at the Tripartite Meeting of the European Social Partners.



The Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) insists on the withdrawal of the Concept of Personal Accounts of Individuals and Legal Entities held by Central Depository AD. The implementation of the concept will affect nearly 3 million Bulgarians – owners of shares acquired during the privatization. According to the employers’ organization, which is the main expression of the interests of the issuers, the concept proposed for public discussion is in striking contradiction both with the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria and the guaranteed property rights and with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The prepared concept envisages the introduction of a mandatory transfer of the shares of Registry A to the Central Depository in Register B to investment intermediaries. Thus, each shareholder will be forced to transfer to investment intermediaries within a period of one year. If during this year the owner of the shares does not transfer them voluntarily, they will be transferred without his will to a specially created investment fund against shares in the fund. Upon the expiration of a new term and in the absence of action by the unit-holders, their shares will be nationalized and deposited into the Silver Fund.

Currently, the holders of shares do not pay fees to the Central Depository. Undertakings pay the Central Depository to maintain Register A. By transferring the shares to an investment intermediary these payments will be at the expense of the shareholders. In short – their shareholders are offered either by their free Registry and willingly to transfer their shares to an investment intermediary and to pay in the future all due fees and to lose their shares in this way in the long run, or to take nothing and to lose the shares in the short term.

There is no act of European or Bulgarian law, nor practice that would imply and even less to impose such an innovation as the proposed concept.

BICA recalls that the presented concept is not considered for the first time. A previous one has already been rejected by the predecessor of the Capital Markets Development Council, and a working group set up by the Ministry of Finance has not reached any outcome following objections by the Ministry of Justice, Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association, the Association of Bulgarian Investor Relations Directors.

According to the employers’ organization, the effect of the proposed seizure decision, based on the lack of interest of the owners of “dormant” shares, is not different from the confiscation of a bank deposit in which there is no movement, or of an unmanaged vehicle or of immovable property, which is not used.

BICA shares the understanding that there are problems with the inheritance of the shares, the management of the shares of the emigrated Bulgarians and of the Bulgarians who live in areas without any licensed investment intermediary. But not nationalization is the solution to these problems. With the proposed Concept for personal accounts of individuals and corporate entities kept by Central Depository AD in Registry A, no problem is solved. On the contrary, there will be new problems for nearly three million shareholders and hundreds of businesses, which will particularly negatively affect the investment climate and the image of Bulgaria around the world. According to BIC, if the authors of the concept really want active management of the “dormant” shares, it is far more meaningful to provide measures and opportunities for remote management of these small bundles of shares, reduce or even eliminate the management, transfer and mostly for inheritance. In view of the above, the only right solution is for the draft concept to be withdrawn by the importers.

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