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PublicationDiagnostic Analysis for Circular Economy Interventions in Bulgaria(Washington, DC, 2023-11-13) World BankOver the past decade, material efficiency and resource productivity have surfaced on the global policy agenda. The rise of the circular economy (CE) agenda reflects the objective of moving away from the current systems of production and consumption based on the ‘take-make-use-waste’ linear economic model toward economies centered on minimizing the use of virgin materials without adversely affecting welfare. The focus is on a life-cycle approach to resource management, which starts with reducing raw material demand by looping resources back into consumption and production systems through innovations in material design, production, and reutilization processes. In addition to reducing pollution and other harmful emissions, the CE can be a driver of private sector growth and jobs and can increase the strategic autonomy of countries by reducing dependence on raw material imports. The objective of this rapid analysis is to identify the CE-related priority areas, sectors in Bulgaria and potential areas of focus for follow-up interventions. The study also aims to highlight concrete barriers that prevent the national and local governments from undertaking these interventions, as well as enabling factors and approaches to overcome them. PublicationSupporting the Implementation of Residential Heating Measures in Bulgaria’s National Air Quality Improvement Program and National Air Pollution Control Program(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) World BankThese programs have been prepared by the Government of Bulgaria (GoB) with technical support by the World Bank. In the course of the work it became clear that national and local institutions would face multi- faceted challenges in implementing the NAQIP and NAPCP, relating mainly to overcoming financial, administrative, and technical difficulties. The swift evolution of EU policy frameworks for countering climate change, improving energy security, reducing energy poverty, as well as the need to improve health and wellbeing in Bulgaria, add to those challenges though they may be regarded instead as presenting significant economic opportunities. The NAQIP proposes measures for phasing out the use of thermally inefficient, polluting old stoves and boilers that burn solid fuels, replacing them with cleaner, more efficient heating arrangements. It is expected that the measures will reduce PM10 emissions from the residential heating sector by about 78 percent. Other measures target the road transport sector though its contribution to local emissions is minor in comparison. The NAPCP focuses on meeting air pollutant emission targets for 2030 as required in the Revised NECD. NAQIP measures to reduce PM10 emissions from the residential heating sector are incorporated in full in the NAPCP. Other sectors where policies and measures to reduce emissions were considered have included large combustion plants in the power generation and industrial sectors, road transport, agriculture, and industrial processes. The preparation of these two programs was complemented by capacity strengthening, including the development of tools to help municipalities undertake essential planning and project preparation. All guidance documentation to accompany the tools were collated to form a Resource Toolkit. Communication and coordination issues were also tackled in the engagement. PublicationBetter Regulation for Higher Growth : Bulgaria's Business Regulation - Achievements and Recommendations(World Bank, 2010-11-01) World BankRemoving regulatory obstacles that create barriers to business is a major objective for economic policymakers. There is broad understanding among policymakers and development practitioners that microeconomic reforms aimed at strengthening property rights, unleashing competition, and reducing the cost of doing business are critical to creating a sound investment climate and promoting economic growth (World Bank 2004; World Bank 2005; Lewis 2004). It is also commonly agreed that these changes need to be credible and sustained for private firms to respond by increasing investment and production (World Bank 2005). This report summarizes the findings of three topical studies of the World Bank: Administrative and Regulatory Barriers to Business (volume two) studies the overall burden of regulation for companies in comparison to other new European Union (EU) peers and specifically assesses Information Technology (IT) and manufacturing companies and the role of key stakeholders. The ex-post impact assessment of the act on limiting administrative regulation and administrative control on economic activity (Volume three) makes an assessment of how the act has been enforced, identifies and estimates the impacts of the act, and provides recommendations for amendments. Reforming the regime of state fees (volume four) examines how reforms to the structure of state fees could decrease the regulatory burden for firms. PublicationBulgaria - Administrative and regulatory barriers to business(World Bank, 2010-11-01) World BankThe present report on the Administrative and Regulatory Barriers to Business is part of an ongoing World Bank analytical and advisory support to the Government of Bulgaria in the area of regulatory reform. Since 2006, the World Bank has provided analytical and advisory support to the government in this area. In 2007, the Bank reviewed administrative procedures in the tourism, food, and road transportation sectors, calling for reduction and simplification of certain burdensome administrative regimes and emphasizing superfluous regulation at the municipality level. This report aims to identify ways in which Bulgaria can further remove obstacles to business regulation, recognizing that achieving pre-crisis growth levels, raising labor productivity and improving the business environment will require continued reforms to eliminate administrative and regulatory barriers to business. The report serves three purposes, such as: 1) providing the economic backdrop and comparators of Bulgaria's regulatory environment; 2) reporting on survey results including assessments by and perceptions of senior managers of Bulgarian enterprises; and 3) identifying strategic reform recommendations, including regulatory changes, institutional upgrading and capacity building, and legislative amendments. PublicationBulgaria - Ex-post impact assessment of the act on limiting administrative regulation and administration control on economic activity(World Bank, 2010-07-01) World BankThe ex-post impact assessment of the Limiting Administrative Regulation and Administrative Control on Economic Activity Act (LARACEAA) is part of the World Bank's support to the Government of Bulgaria through on-going analytical and advisory work in the area of regulatory reform. The purpose of the present ex-post impact assessment of the LARACEAA is to: (i) assess how the Act has been enforced, (ii) identify and estimate the impacts of the Act, and (iii) provide recommendations for amendments to the Act. Chapter one emphasizes the importance of the Act as part of the Bulgarian Government's role in advancing regulatory reform and improving the business environment; gives the scope of the assessment and presents the sources of information utilized; and delineates general limitations of the analysis. Chapter two outlines a policy framework by discussing coherence with the Governmental and European Union (EU) policies, as well as touching upon relevant documents on regulatory reform, followed by analysis of the goal and objectives of the Act, and identification of performance indicators for the measurement of the impact of the Act. Chapter three depicts the results of the ex-post impact assessment, while the final chapter four identifies the main problem; discusses underlying drivers and effects of the problem; and proposes recommendations for amendments to the Act. PublicationBulgaria - Reforming the regime of states fees(World Bank, 2009-06-01) World BankThe Government of Bulgaria requested the World Bank to analyze the legal, institutional and administrative framework for setting state fees and provide recommendations based on good international practice. How big is the problem compared to the many other issues the government wants to reform in order to improve the business climate in Bulgaria? So far there are no comprehensive studies of the level of administrative fees in the European Union (EU) area. Such studies would be of great value to assess the magnitude of the problem. There are, however, several arguments in support of reforming the regime of state fees in Bulgaria now. Firstly, business associations in Bulgaria agree also confirmed by a recent unpublished government report - that state fees at the central level became an uncontrolled area in which authorities apply their own judgment and interests without considering the impact on businesses often to the disadvantage of the private sector. Secondly, if the Government of Bulgaria (GoB) does not curb the current regime system, then the trend of increasing state fees will continue or might even gain speed. Again, this will have a negative impact on the cost of doing business. Thirdly, a number of identified state fees are so high that they seriously harm competition by functioning as a barrier to firm entry. Fourthly, the EU requires Member States to implement a specific regime for administrative fees in the services sector by the end of 2009 and Bulgaria does not comply with that yet. A recent World Bank report for Bulgaria Investment Climate Assessment (2008) called for overall reduction of the administrative cost for businesses because Bulgaria is not competitive in this area compared to other Central and Eastern European countries. The report recommended that a strategic policy document is prepared to embrace the administration practice and provide an instrument for classification of the tariffs for the central administration service fees targeting universal reduction of the administrative cost. It also proposed that a special methodology for the classification of the tariffs for the central administrative service fees is developed. The present report is intended to support reform of the regime of state fees.