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Prime Minister Donev: Bulgaria meets OECD standards to a large extent

11 April 2023 Events and Discussions

Bulgaria's membership in the OECD is a major foreign policy priority of our country. We do not view it as an access card to the club of rich countries, but as inclusion in the Organization's values of freedom, democracy, rule of law, protection of human rights, and an open, competitive and transparent market economy. For us, the accession is a catalyst for the reforms that Bulgaria needs. Prime Minister Galab Donev stated this during the official presentation at the Council of Ministers of the report "OECD Economic Surveys: Bulgaria (April 2023)", prepared by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This is the second Economic Survey of our country and is a mandatory step on the way to Bulgaria's accession to the OECD.

Prime Minister Galab Donev highlighted the purposeful work of the interim government over the past eight months to achieve rapid progress on this important foreign policy priority of our country. The Prime Minister recalled that in November last year, the cabinet adopted the Initial Memorandum of Bulgaria, containing the first self-assessment of the alignment of our country’s legislation, policies and practices with each legal instrument of the OECD in effect. Donev pointed out that the Memorandum is an important step toward accession and it has shown that Bulgaria meets the Organization's standards to a high degree. In this sense, according to Prime Minister Galab Donev, it is possible to complete the accession process in about three years with maximum internal mobilization.

Prime Minister Donev especially thanked OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann, who was at the Council of Ministers on 4 April to present the Economic Survey for our country. Donev noted that the Survey is thorough and outlines good recommendations for the development of the state. The Prime Minister also highlighted a number of measures and policies that are implemented in our country in line with OECD recommendations – for lifelong learning, more training for digital skills, measures against the informal economy and undeclared work, for the development of human capital and countering the negative demographic trends. Donev also highlighted Bulgaria's achievement of maintaining its fiscal stability against the backdrop of global crises related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, rising energy prices and inflation. The Prime Minister was adamant that it is essential to continue to follow a prudent fiscal policy. Prime Minister Galab Donev also stated that Bulgaria shares the findings of the OECD on prevention and counteraction of corruption, and accepts the recommendations. The Prime Minister recalled that there are also a number of legislative initiatives in this direction. "The interim government has the conclusions and recommendations and is looking for solutions within its competence," Donev added.

The Prime Minister wished success to the experts working on Bulgaria's accession to the OECD, most of whom attended the presentation of the Economic Survey at the Council of Ministers. The event was also attended by some of the Ministers from the caretaker government, whose portfolios are also related to our future membership in the Organization.

For his part, before presenting the Survey, OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann thanked Prime Minister Galab Donev for the progress in the work on the accession of Bulgaria to the OECD and for the fact that our country continues in the right direction. Cormann said that working closely with the Bulgarian government has charted the trajectory for the future and for ensuring that all reforms can be effectively implemented for the benefit of the people, as well as for increasing economic and social well-being. In his words, the Organization highly appreciates the broad political support for Bulgaria's accession to the OECD.

You can get acquainted with the presentation of the OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann on the Economic Survey here: https://www.oecd.org/economy/bulgaria-economic-snapshot/.

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