Bulgaria Forms New Caretaker Government as Country Heads For Yet Another Snap Election
Implications for International Investors

April 10, 2024
Bulgaria is set to hold its fifth consecutive snap parliamentary election in just three years, with severe implications for the country's political stability, its planned adoption of the Euro, as well as for its longstanding ambition of becoming a full member of the EU's Schengen Area. The next snap election is scheduled for 9th June, together with the EU parliamentary elections, further complicating the upcoming election campaign in an ideologically and structurally diverse political environment.

Plagued with political instability and short-term governments throughout its recent history, Bulgaria heads into this crucial vote hoping to move towards a firmer political footing. However, with most observers predicting little change in the distribution of parliamentary seats, the election could result in another hung parliament and further political instability.

The snap election follows the collapse of the planned government reshuffle between the informal coalition partners, the centre-right GERB-SDS and the centrist-liberal We Continue the Change- Democratic Bulgaria (PP-DB) alliance. This resulted in a new caretaker government from 9th April, led by Dimitar Glavchev. Under Aretera’s assessment, the upcoming snap elections will likely delay Bulgaria’s accession to the Eurozone and the Schengen Area, while the Parliament’s legislative agenda could also face interruptions.

However, if the election does produce a stable government, its expected priorities are likely to include formalizing Bulgaria’s full Eurozone and Schengen Area memberships. In addition to easier business operations, reduced costs and increased efficiency, this would also provide foreign investors in Bulgaria with an assurance regarding economic stability and compliance with EU regulations.

A recent constitutional change means parliament is no longer dissolved when an interim cabinet takes office. As a result, there will likely be firm parliamentary control under the executive branch in the short term, indicating that Bulgaria's European integration objectives will also be on the top of the short-term political agenda.

If you would like to schedule a discussion of this paper, please contact:
Dominik Istrate, Research Director for Central & Eastern Europe at D.Istrate@AreteraPA.com