Bulgaria Faces Infringement Procedure over Underground Resources Act

Bulgaria in EU | January 17, 2014, Friday // 13:26|  views

Photo by EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria faces yet another threat of an infringement procedure by the EC over shortcomings in the Law on Underground Natural Resources.

The case concerns the failure to include provisions of EU Directives in Bulgaria's Law on Underground Natural Resources, according to reports of dnevnik.bg.

The flaws mainly concern issues like the management of waste generated by mining industries, and the storage of waste in particular.

The information stage started in February 2013.

In mid-November 2013, the Environment Directorate-General of the European Commission informed that it was wrapping up this stage and initiating an infringement procedure.

This was announced at a Tuesday sitting of the parliamentary environmental committee by representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Energy, which is leading body in the sphere of the mining industry.

Despite the fact that the authorities in charge were alerted to the necessary changes back in February 2013, the shortcomings remained uncorrected.

At the same time, Environment Minister Iskra Mihaylova and her three deputies did not come up with a statement on the draft changes to the Law on Underground Natural Resources at the Tuesday sitting of the parliamentary environmental committee.

The matter was postponed for the next sitting of the parliamentary committee, causing yet further delay.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria's commitment to the European Commission is that the amendments will be adopted by December 31, 2013 at the latest.

Iskra Mihaylova apologized that the bill would be delayed due to the Ministry of Environment and Water, adding that the Ministry had presented a stance on the topic during the debates on the Law at the Council of Ministers.

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Tags: infringement procedure, European Commission, underground natural resources, Environment Ministry, iskra mihaylova


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