On 25 January 2022, the OECD Council decided to open accession discussions with Bulgaria. This follows careful deliberation by OECD Members on the basis of its evidence-based Framework for Consideration of Prospective Members and the progress made by Bulgaria since its first request for OECD membership.
An individual roadmap for the detailed assessment process will now be prepared, provided that Bulgaria confirms its adherence to the values, vision and priorities reflected in the OECD’s 60th Anniversary Vision Statement and the Ministerial Council Statement adopted last year.
Bulgaria experienced a turbulent transition in the 1990s, but today it is one of the most fiscally disciplined EU states. During the first decade of the century, average annual growth accelerated and the country built fiscal buffers, all the while reducing its public debt, which is one of the lowest among EU members.
To boost productivity and close the gaps with EU levels of prosperity, Bulgarian policy makers place an emphasis on education, innovation, regulatory certainty, competition and the judiciary.
Co-operation with the OECD
Bulgaria has co-operated with the Organisation via thematic initiatives and a country-specific programme since the early 1990s. This co-operation has been developing through the years based on demand and mutual benefit. Bulgaria has been active in the OECD SEE regional programme and has participated in statistical reporting and information systems, benchmarking exercises such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), publications and policy reviews.
During this period, Bulgaria repeatedly expressed interest in an OECD accession, including by its Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2015 and by President Radev as well as by Prime Minister Borissov. The preparation for accession to the OECD is co-ordinated by a dedicated inter-ministerial committee and was included as one of the priorities in the Government Programme for Stable Development for the period 2014-2020.
Atanas Pekanov, Deputy Prime Minister for the Management of EU Funds, Bulgaria, Mathias Cormann, OECD Secretary-General, Sveltan Stoev, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bulgaria, Valeri Belchev, Minister of Finance, Bulgaria
6 October 2021, OECD, Paris, France
Participation in OECD Bodies and adherence to OECD standards
Bulgaria’s engagement with the OECD has also encompassed participation in OECD bodies and legal instruments. Through this form of co-operation, Bulgaria has benefited from and contributed to dialogue with senior officials from member and partner countries to advance ideas and review progress in specific policy areas.
Bulgaria was among the first non-OECD Members to accede to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions in 1999. In 2016, Bulgaria accepted the OECD invitation to participate in the G20/OECD Project on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting of the Committee on Fiscal Affairs as an Associate. In the field of taxation, Bulgaria is a member of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. Bulgaria has joined the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, the Multilateral Agreement on Exchange of Information for Tax purposes and signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.
Bulgaria also participates in other bodies and instruments and is part of (or has outstanding requests for participation in) the bodies and instruments of the OECD Framework for the Consideration of Prospective Members.
OECD publications focusing on or featuring Bulgaria