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Bulgaria: Cabinet Adopts Emissions Control, Human Rights, and Other Measures

(Mar. 14, 2011) Bulgaria's Cabinet, at a regular meeting held on March 9, 2011, adopted a number of significant measures. Some highlights of the Cabinet actions are summarized below.

The Cabinet will sponsor amendments to the Environmental Protection Act that transpose three EU directives (Nos. 30, 29, & 126/2009) on greenhouse gas emissions reduction and control into domestic law. (BTA Details Bulgarian Government 9 Mar Regular Weekly Meeting Decisions β€œCouncil of Ministers' Decisions,” BTA (Sofia) (Mar. 9, 2011), World News Connection online subscription database, Doc. No. 201103091477.1_067c0075648d4666.)

In connection with human rights, the Cabinet endorsed the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment [OPCAT] for ratification (Bulgaria signed the Protocol on September 22, 2010). It also acted to implement the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights in seven cases against Bulgaria, almost all of which concern violations of the right to a trial within a reasonable time period. (Id.; OPCAT (adopted on Dec. 18, 2002, in force on June 22, 2006), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights website (last visited Mar. 11, 2011); European Court of Human Rights Fines Bulgaria EUR 55 000, NOVINITE.COM (July 27, 2010); Bulgaria Human Rights ECHR Convictions Exceed 200 (Nov. 29, 2009), NOVINITE.COM.)

The Cabinet approved a draft memorandum of understanding between the Ministries of Culture of Bulgaria and Italy β€œon cultural heritage and activities to prevent the theft, illegal excavations, import, export and transfer of ownership rights of cultural immovables.” (BTA, supra.) It also adopted changes that will amend provisions of the Labor Code and the Civil Servant Act to establish requirements for the use of paid annual leave by civil servants, workers, and employers. In addition, the Cabinet approved draft amendments to the Civil Registration Act, under which Bulgaria will have a population register that is in electronic form only and certificates of marital status will be issued on the basis of their electronic version. (Id.)