On 16 December the Bulgarian Council of Ministers adopted a Decree amending the local Ordinance for exercising the right of access to medical care. It concerns medical activities covered by the National Health Insurance Fund. This is the first attempt at national legislation regulating electronic referrals and prescriptions.
On 19 November 2020 the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition ("CPC") fined Olineza Premium OOD ("Olineza"), one of the biggest Bulgarian food producers, BGN 1,479,040 (approx. EUR 700,000) or 4 % of its 2019 turnover. The fine was imposed for the "misleading use" of the word "homemade" stated on the label of a mayonnaise product, and comes after almost three years of administrative and court proceedings.
On July 28, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Bulgaria’s Sabev & Partners law firm, working alongside DLA Piper, had advised the Government of Bulgaria on the tender procedure for the 35-year concession agreement for the Sofia Airport in Bulgaria, which was ultimately awarded to SOF Connect Consortium, led by Meridiam and including Munich Airport and Strabag, on its successful bid. We spoke to Sabev & Partners Iskra Neycheva and Boryana Boteva about the firm’s work on the project.
Until 2018 the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition had never prohibited a concentration. In 2018, however, in consecutive decisions, the CPC prohibited the acquisition of CEZ by Inercom and the acquisition of Nova TV by the investment group PPF. In 2019 two other transactions – Eurohold/CEZ and Emko/Dunarit – were blocked.
Currently, two large-scale energy infrastructure projects are being implemented in Bulgaria: the nuclear power plant near the town of Belene (the NPP Belene Project), where a strategic investor is to be selected soon-, and the construction of an extension of the natural gas transmission system of Bulgaria (the ETSB Project).
Already struggling with the international coronavirus pandemic, Bulgaria has recently found itself dealing with a major internal political crisis as well – one which, ironically, despite the general incentive towards social distancing, has brought people outside of their homes and onto the streets of the nation’s major cities.
I began practicing law more than 30 years ago. It runs in my family and I guess this is how I acquired my affinity towards it. Even during the communist period in Bulgaria, being a lawyer was among the few relatively independent professions – unconstrained by political, financial, and other pressures. This is another major reason I became a lawyer. The rule of law is something I was born and raised with.
“Over the course of the past three months, Bulgaria has been in proper political turmoil,” reports Georgi Tzvetkov, Partner at Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov. “The protests in the streets against the government and the Chief Prosecutor have been going on for almost 90 days – an unprecedented sight in Bulgaria.” According to him, the tensions between the Prime Minister and the President are “like nothing we’ve seen before.”