The Republic of Bulgaria, with a population of 7.3 million, is a parliamentary democracy and, along with neighboring Romania, the most recent NATO and EU member. The constitution vests legislative authority in the unicameral National Assembly. A coalition government headed by a prime minister has led the country since 2014. Elections in Bulgaria have generally complied with OSCE standards but vote buying remains a problem. The marginalization of the Romani minority remains the country’s most pressing human rights problem. Corruption has continued to undermine public trust in the judiciary and other government institutions.
The Commission has observed many Bulgarian elections since the fall of the Communist regime in 1990. In the late 1980s, the Commission was a leading voice in defending the rights of the ethnic Turkish minority, which was subjected to a forcible assimilation campaign at the time. The Commission has also been active in addressing the rights of the Romani population.
Staff Contact: Michael Cecire, senior policy advisor