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How government works

The government of Republic of Bulgaria follows the separation of powers doctrine. The governmental power is divided into legislative, executive and judicial, which are independent, but complement and control each other.


Legislative power

The legislative power adopts, amends, supplements and repeals the laws in the state. In Republic of Bulgaria, the National Assembly is the legislative authority. It exercises parliamentary control over the Council of Ministers. The National Assembly consists of 240 members elected for a period of four year.

President of the Republic

The President is the head of state. He stands for the unity of the nation and represents Republic of Bulgaria in the international relations. The President may return legislation to the National Assembly for further debate. He is elected directly.  

Executive Power

The executive power is part of the governance of the state. It is responsible for the implementation and/ or the enforcement of the laws, and the daily state affairs.

Council of Ministers

The main body of the executive power in Republic of Bulgaria is the Council of Ministers Its synonym is the Government of Republic of Bulgaria. The Council of Ministers is a collective body – it consists of Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and ministers, which collectively define, develop and implement the policy of the state, in accordance with the constitutional powers of the Council of Ministers of Republic of Bulgaria. The Council of Minister is elected by the National Assembly on a motion by the President and following the procedures of the Constitution of Republic of Bulgaria.

The Council of Ministers is central collective body of the executive power and has general competence – its competence is not limited within specific subject area, and covers the whole territory of Republic of Bulgaria.

The Council of Ministers exercises the governance of the state, as at its sessions, it adopts and passes decrees, regulations and resolutions, on the grounds of, and following the laws. With its decrees, the Council of Ministers also adopts different rules and regulations. It repeals the illegal or irregular acts of the ministers.

The Council of Minister has the right of legislative initiative.

Prime Minister

The Prime Minister supervises and coordinates the general policy of the Government and is responsible for it. The Prime Minister represents the Council of Ministers, convene and presides the sessions of the Council of Ministers.



A government minister is a central single-person executive authority exercising special competence – responsible for specific area of matters, which are evident from the name of the minister – Minister of Education, Minister of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications, etc. In his work, the minister is assisted by Ministry and by deputy ministers.

By National Assembly resolution passed on a motion by the Prime Minister, government ministers who do not head ministries may also be included in the composition of the Council of Ministers – ministers without portfolio.


The ministers define and implement the policy within their area of competence, by issuing regulations, ordinances, instructions and orders. They may propose for adoption by the Council of Ministers legislative projects.


Other central executive authorities and their administrations

Executive authorities are also the chairpersons of the state agencies, the state commissions; the executive directors of executive agencies; the heads of state institutions, created by law or decree of the Council of Ministers, which are assigned functions in connection with the exercise of executive power.

State agency is an administration directly reporting to the Council of Ministers, established to develop and implement a policy for which no ministry has been created.

State commission is a collegial authority under the Council of Ministers or under a minister for discharge of control, registration and authorization functions in the application of a law or a Council of Ministers decree. It is assisted by the administration of the State commission.


Executive Agency is an administration under a specified government minister for administrative servicing of natural and legal persons, as well as for execution of activities and services related to support of the operation of the bodies of state power and of the administration.


State institutions, created by law, are for example the National Revenue Agency, established as specialized state authority under the Ministry of Finance; the National Health Insurance Fund, which is reporting to the National Assembly.

Local executive authorities, local administrations

Local executive authorities and local administrations include:

The Regional Governors are local authorities of the executive power, which implement state government at the local level and ensure correspondence of national and local interests in the implementation of regional policy. In the implementation of the activities thereof, each regional governor shall be assisted by regional vice governors and by a regional administration. The Regional Governor exercises control over the legal conformity of the acts issued and steps performed by the bodies of local self-government and the local administration. By a statutory instrument may be created specialized local administrations as legal persons – i.e. Basin Directorates, Regional Agricultural Directorates; Regional Education Inspectorates.

The mayors of municipalities and boroughs, in cities with boroughs (Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna), the mayors of mayoralties and the lieutenant mayors, are the local administration authorities. The mayor of the municipality is the executive authority in the municipality. The executive authorities in the borough and the mayoralty are the borough mayor and the mayoralty mayor. The mayor of municipality, as well as the mayors of the boroughs and the mayoralties are elected directly by the population for a period of 4 years. The mayor of the municipality, respectively the mayor of the borough, shall designate with an order, deputy-mayor, who shall exercise the powers of the mayor in their absence. The work of the municipal council and the mayors is assisted by municipal administration.

Local Self-Government

The Municipality is the main administrative-territorial unit for local self-government. The Municipal Council is a body of the local self-government, and is elected by the population of the municipality. The Council consists of the elected Municipal Counselors. It determines the policy for planning and development of the Municipality. The Municipal Council is legislative authority at municipal level – it adopts rules, regulations, instructions, resolutions, declarations and addresses.



The judiciary shall protect the rights and legitimate interests of the citizens, the legal persons, and the State. In the performance of the functions thereof, all judges, jurors, prosecutors and investigating magistrates shall be subservient only to the law. Justice shall be administered by a Supreme Court of Cassation, a Supreme Administrative Court, appellate courts, district courts, military courts, and regional courts. Specialized courts may furthermore be created by statute. The prosecuting magistracy shall ensure that legality is observed

The courts shall exercise review as to the legality of the acts issued and the actions performed by administrative bodies. Citizens and legal persons may appeal against any administrative act which affects them except such as is expressly specified as unappealable by statute.

The Supreme Administrative Court shall exercise supreme judicial supervision as to the accurate and equal application of the laws in administrative justice.

Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court has a special place in the organization of the governance of the state. It provides binding interpretations of the Constitution; it rules on complaints to the constitutionality of the laws and other acts of the National Assembly and the decrees of the President; it also rules on competence disputes between the National Assembly, the President and the Council of Ministers and between the bodies of local self-government and the central executive branch of government. 


Administrative Servicing

The administrative servicing is performed by the executive authorities at central and local level. It is provided in compliance with Administration Act and the Administrative-Procedure Code, the special legislations, bylaws, issued by the Council of Ministers, ministers or municipal councils.

The organizations providing administrative services, determine the organization for administrative servicing in their internal acts, unless specified in a law, or other statutory act.

The administrative authorities are obliged to organize their activity in a way, which provides service to the users of administrative services at a single location, with easy access. The users of administrative services are communicating with the administration through the administrative servicing unit.

The central executive authorities provide administrative servicing on the territory of the whole country. They can provide administrative services near the citizens and the organizations, through their local units.

The local executive authorities and the local administrations provide administrative servicing on the territory, which falls within their competence.

Last update: 10.12.2015