During the process of adopting a new Concessions Act in Bulgaria, an analysis of related legislation criticised this sector for inefficiency mainly due to a lack of solid long-term strategic planning.

Based on this critical analysis and the new Concessions Act, the Council of Ministers recently adopted a National Strategy for the Development of Concessions for the period 2018 - 2027 (“Strategy”). The Strategy includes a vast overview of the status of concessions up to the present period, and outlines how this sector will develop in Bulgaria in the future.

The goals set out in the Strategy include: the development and modernisation of sites; a focus on certain sectors such as infrastructure, education, healthcare, natural resources, etc.; and creating measures for achieving these objectives.

Because the Strategy discusses the principles for the assignment of concessions, the focus is now on how concessions are conducted.

For example, during the assignment of a concession, the authority will take into account the quality and volume of services included in the scope of the concession. The purpose and results of the assigned concession will be formulated by the services received by the public or authority during the concession's performance.

Services will be measured according to availability, presence, incorporation of new or innovative services, quality, social impact, etc.

The goals set out in the Strategy will be reached by:

  • developing instructions and directions to help administrative bodies eliminate issues often repeated during the assignment of concessions;
  • summarising available practices and issues in guidelines for the application requirements in the assignment of concessions; and
  • making instructions and guidelines available to the public.

In addition, the National Concession Register will become a centralised electronic information system with the capability to perform analytical reports.