Environmental Implementation Review: new way to help Member States apply EU rules benefits citizens, administrations and economy

On 6th February 2017 the European Commission adopted the Environmental Implementation Review, a new tool to improve implementation of European environmental policy and commonly agreed rules. The Commission will address with Member States the causes of implementation gaps and find solutions before problems become urgent.

Bulgarian profile shows that Bulgaria has made significant improvements to its environmental performance since its accession in 2007. While Bulgarian legislation accurately reflects the environmental requirements agreed at EU level, their implementation on the ground remains a challenge.

Air quality continues to give cause for serious concern.

Construction developments in Natura 2000 areas, lack of integration of nature and biodiversity policy into other sectorial policies, weak administration, lack of adequate management plans and conservation objectives are some of the main threats to nature and biodiversity in Bulgaria.
River Basin Management Plans indicate significant gaps, also reflected by very low connection and treatment rates for urban waste water. Drinking water, however, reaches high compliance rates in Bulgaria and over 90 % of its bathing waters are of good and excellent quality.

Main Challenges

The three main challenges with regard to implementation of EU environmental policy and law in Bulgaria are: 

  • Ensuring better protection of human health by enforcing effective and efficient solutions to reduce air pollution. 
  • Providing and implementing the investments required to ensure appropriate collection and treatment of urban waste water. 
  • Ensuring sound enforcement of Nature protection legislation.
  • Main Opportunities

    Bulgaria could perform better on topics where there is already a good knowledge base and good practices. This applies in particular to: 

  • Ensuring the implementation of the adopted Waste Management Plan and the Waste Prevention Programme, including the measures for closure and rehabilitation of all non-compliant landfills and enforcing of the ‘pay-as-you-throw’ principle. 
  • Integrating the nature and biodiversity policy into other sectorial policies, and defining conservation objectives and measures for the adequate protection and management of the Natura 2000 sites.
  • Points of Excellence

    Where Bulgaria is a leader on environmental implementation, innovative approaches could be shared more widely with other countries. A good example is that: 

  • Bulgaria has adopted a well-structured and coherent Waste Management Plan, used as a model by other Member-States. 
  • Bulgaria reaches nearly 100% compliance rate as regards the quality of its drinking water.
  • More information could be found on:

    Factsheet for Bulgaria

    The EU Environmental Implementation Review Country Report – BULGARIA

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