The Bulgarian constitution guarantees the freedom to form political parties. At the same time, none of them can be declared or approved as a state one. The formation of parties on an ethnic, racial or religious basis, as well as parties whose goal is the violent seizure of power, is not allowed. According to the law on political parties (2001), a party can be formed by Bulgarian citizens who have the right to vote, and for its registration in court, it is necessary to provide a constituent act, a charter and a list of at least 500 founding members. The multi-party system is in the process of becoming. In 2001, there were more than 250 parties in Bulgaria, most of which are small and, according to established standards, cannot independently participate in elections. Check computerminus for political system of Bulgaria.
In Bulgaria, until 2001, there was basically a bipolar model of the political space, where the two largest formations fought: the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) (the successor to the Bulgarian Communist Party) and the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS). The BSP, being the most numerous and organized force on the left side of the political spectrum, was not homogeneous, which affected the pace of the formation of a new image of the party. Until 1997, the SDS, as the core of the organized opposition to the left flank, was a coalition of parties, movements, and associations of various ideological and political views, from conservative to center-right. In the parliamentary elections (April 1997), the SDS already acted as a political party.
In the elections of June 17, 2001, more than three dozen parties and coalitions applied for deputy mandates. As a result, the following most influential political forces ended up in parliament. The victorious NDSV, created shortly before the elections. In 2002, it was transformed into a party, in the program declaration of which it was noted that it would be both conservative and liberal, and would have a social orientation. The defeated former ruling centre-right SDS party is the core of the United Democratic Forces (UDF) coalition. Coalition “For Bulgaria”, in which left and center-left movements united around the largest Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). In these elections, the BSP received the lowest result in the 1990s. Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS),
Trade unions at the sectoral and national levels take an active part in the public life of the country. The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria (KNSB) and the Podkrepa Labor Confederation play an important role in building social partnership. Among the leading organizations of business circles are the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Union of Employers of Bulgaria, the Chamber of Commerce, etc.
During 1991-2001, parliamentary elections were held in Bulgaria 4 times, and twice ahead of schedule. During the same time (until July 2001) 7 governments were replaced (including two service ones). Only the government headed by the former SDF leader I. Kostov (1997-2001) used its mandate in full. As a rule, the change of cabinets took place on a wave of dissatisfaction with the results of socio-economic policy, due to insufficient consideration of the social tolerance of radical measures, the involvement of managers in corruption.
In the beginning. 1990s in the conditions of broad liberalization of economic life, the main emphasis was placed on achieving macroeconomic stabilization by reducing consumer and investment demand. This, it was believed, should have been accompanied by systemic transformations and the formation of a market infrastructure. The restitution of alienated property was carried out, the return of land to the former owners began. However, the reform of the economy was late. In the 2nd floor. 1990s after the crisis of the banking system, it was restructured. In 1997-99, the process of privatization accelerated and is nearing completion. In 2000–02, problems of economic growth came to the fore, administrative reform began, and attention to the fight against corruption increased. In October 2002, the European Commission recognized Bulgaria as a country with a functioning market economy, noting a number of serious shortcomings, the elimination of which will require great efforts. A difficult modernization and increase in the competitiveness of the economy lies ahead.
In foreign policy, a course was taken for a “return” to Europe. Bulgaria’s main priority is integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. In 1995 Bulgaria became an associate member of the EU, in December 1999 it was accepted as a candidate for EU membership. In December 2002, at a meeting of EU leaders in Copenhagen, it was announced that Bulgaria, subject to further fulfillment of the membership criteria, could become a member of the EU in 2007.
In November 2002 Bulgaria received an invitation to join NATO (2004). Bulgaria pays great attention to the Balkan regional cooperation within the framework of the Stability Pact in South-Eastern Europe project.
The Republic of Bulgaria has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR in July 1934). In 2002-03, there were signs of a revival and prospects for deepening friendly relations and partnership between the Russian Federation and Bulgaria, and expanding trade and economic cooperation between them.