Prime Minister Galab Donev: Bulgaria largely meets OECD standards


Bulgaria’s OECD membership is a major foreign policy priority for our country. It is not seen as a pass of admission to the club of the rich countries but as commitment to the values of the Organization for freedom, democracy, rule of law, protection of human rights and an open, competitive and transparent market economy. For us accession is a catalytic agent to the reforms that Bulgaria needs. This statement was made by Prime Minister Galab Donev at the official launch in the Council of Ministers of the Economic Survey of Bulgaria prepared by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is the second economic survey of Bulgaria and a mandatory step on the way towards the accession of the country to the OECD.

Prime Minister Galab Donev underscored the caretaker government’s persistent work in the past eight months to make rapid progress on this important foreign policy priority for Bulgaria. The Prime Minister recalled that last November the cabinet approved Bulgaria’s initial memorandum that contained the first self-assessment of the compliance of the legislation, policies and performance of the country with each effective OECD legal instrument. Galab Donev pointed out that the memorandum is an important step towards accession and has shown that Bulgaria largely meets the OECD standards. Therefore, in the opinion of Prime Minister Galab Donev, it is possible to complete the accession process in about three years with the maximum national effort put in it.

Prime Minister Galab Donev specially thanked the OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann who was in the Council of Ministers today so that he could personally launch the economic survey of Bulgaria. The Prime Minister noted that the survey is thorough and gives good recommendations for the development of the country. He stressed a number of measures and policies that are implemented in Bulgaria in line with the OECD recommendations such as lifelong learning, more digital skills training courses, measures against the informal economy and underreported wages, development of human capital and control on negative demographic trends. Further Galab Donev underlined Bulgaria’s achievement to maintain its fiscal stability in the context of global crises that have been caused by the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the rising energy prices and inflation. The Prime Minister said firmly that it is essential to continue to follow a prudent fiscal policy. Prime Minister Galab Donev also stated that Bulgaria shares the OECD findings concerning the prevention and the countering of corruption and accepts the recommendations. The Prime Minister recalled that a number of legislative initiatives are under way to that end. “The caretaker government has the conclusions and the recommendations and is looking for solutions within the scope of its competence,” Galab Donev added.

The Prime Minister wished success to the experts working for Bulgaria’s accession to the OECD, most of whom attended today the launch of the economic survey of Bulgaria in the Council of Ministers building. The event was also attended by some of the ministers who are members of the caretaker government and whose portfolios are related to Bulgaria’s OECD membership.

Before presenting the survey, the OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann thanked Prime Minister Galab Donev for the progress made by Bulgaria in the effort towards OECD accession and for the right direction in which the country continues to move. “Close work with your government has paved the way to the future to guarantee all reforms that must be effectively implemented for the prosperity of the people and for the improvement of the economic and social welfare,” Mathias Cormann said. As he put it, the OECD highly appreciates the broad political support for Bulgaria’s accession to the OECD.