THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION HAS MADE FOUR RECOMMENDATIONS TO BULGARIA IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE EUROPEAN SEMESTER
The European Commission (the "Commission") has published its proposal for a Council Recommendation on the updated 2017 National Reform Programme and delivering a Council Opinion on the Convergence Programme (2017 - 2020) of the Republic of Bulgaria within the so-called "European Semester". These are to be reviewed and approved by the ECOFIN Council on 16 June 2017 and to be finally adopted by the European Council at its meeting on 22 - 23 June 2017.
The recommendations remain four for the current year, mainly focusing on the areas having macroeconomic imbalances - banking sector, non-banking financial sector and active labour market policies as well as social policy and public procurement.
As the Commission expects Bulgaria to comply with the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact, the part from the 2016 recommendation related to the achievement of a cyclically adjusted structural deficit in view to attaining the medium-term budgetary objective has been dropped for 2017. The focus continues to be on tackling the shadow economy, in particular undeclared work. In the areas of banking sector and non-banking financial sector the country is recommended to continue strengthening supervision in close cooperation with European bodies, to speed up the implementation of the reformed insolvency framework and to promote a functioning secondary market for non-performing loans. The third specific recommendation is targeted at individual social aspects in the sectors of employment, education and healthcare which were subject to monitoring in 2016, too. The last recommendation refers to the efficient implementation of the measures laid down in the 2014-2020 National Public Procurement Strategy.
The approved update of the 2017 National Reform Programme and the Convergence Programme (2017 - 2020) outline the measures and commitments in response to the identified imbalances and challenges.