Bulgaria Country Info

Facts

Short name: BULGARIA

Official name: Republic of Bulgaria

Area: 110,879 sq. km

Capital: Sofia

Independence: September 22, 1908

National Holiday: Liberation Day, March 3

Constitution: July 12, 1991

Population: 7,973,671 (2001)

Suffrage: 18 years old; Bulgarian citizenship

Ethnicity: Bulgarian 83.9%, Turk 9.4%, Roma 4.7%, other 2% including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian (2001 census)

Languages: Bulgarian, Turkish, Roma, and others.

Religions: Bulgarian Orthodox 84%, Muslim 12%, Jewish 1%, Catholic, Protestant, Gregorian-Armenian

Geography

Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey

Geographic coordinates: 43 00 N, 25 00 E

Area: total: 110,879 sq km land: 108,489 sq km water: 2,390 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Tennessee

Land boundaries: total: 1,808 km border countries: Greece 494 km, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km, Serbia 318 km, Turkey 240 km

Coastline: 354 km

Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers

Terrain: mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Black Sea 0 m highest point: Musala 2,925 m

Natural resources: bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land

Political System

Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic founded on the principle of the division of powers into legislature, executive and judiciary. The Constitution is the supreme law of the country.

The President

The president is the head of state and has general powers as Commander-in-Chief of the army and Chairman of the National Security Council. His prerogatives also include conferral of insignia, naming of towns, villages and geographical places, promulgation in the State Gazette of laws passed by the National Assembly where he is entitled to impose a postponement veto thereon, etc. The President is elected directly by the electorate under a system of majority representation every 5 years for a maximum of two five-year terms. A vice-president assists the president.

President: Georgi Parvanov (since 22 January 2002)

Executive

The Executive is a prerogative of the Council of Ministers headed by a prime minister. The prime minister is elected by the National Assembly for a four-year term and is bound to propose the Cabinet. The prime minister may suggest personal reshuffles in the cabinet to the National Assembly. The determines and appoints regional governors who are bodies of the Executive in the corresponding administrative units (regions). The is composed of all ministers and chairs of the committees ranking equal to the ministries. Apart from being the highest executive body, it also adopts and promulgates certain acts of delegated legislation - decrees, ordinances, regulations, resolutions and instructions, and is entitled to initiate the adoption of laws by drafting, deliberating and forwarding bills to the National Assembly. The National Assembly can dismiss the cabinet by a vote of no confidence.

Prime minister: Boyko Borisov

Legislative

The Legislature is concentrated in the National Assembly elected under a system of proportional representation by universal adult suffrage for a four-year term. The National Assembly sits in Sofia and is empowered by the Constitution and the laws with the general competence to pass statutory acts and resolutions, to adopt declarations, etc.

Judiciary

The Judiciary is comprised of judges, prosecutors and investigating magistrates who are appointed, promoted, demoted, and dismissed by a is concentrated in the 25-member Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). The SJC consists of chairmen of the two Supreme Courts, the Chief Prosecutor, and 22 members, half of whom are elected by the National Assembly and the other half by the bodies of the judiciary for a 5-year term in office. There are three levels of case review and 182 courts of which two Supreme Courts act as the last instance on civil and criminal cases (the Supreme Court of Cassation) and appeals of government decisions (the Supreme Administrative Court).

Economic Development

Travel, History and Traditions

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