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Reform Support
Banner image of the Overall reform of the administrative penalties proceedings page

Supporting reforms to reinforce efficient and high quality public administrations

Funding Programme
  • 2019

The Commission has provided technical support to the Government of Bulgaria to address the challenges of the legal framework of the administrative penalty proceedings, define and implement appropriate processes and methodologies by taking into account good practices of and lessons learned by other EU member states in addressing similar situations.


Bulgaria has identified the weaknesses in the legislation on administrative penalties as a key challenge to preventing and sanctioning corruption in the administrative bodies establishing administrative offenses. Despite numerous amendments to the law, the legal structure does not allow for a comprehensive reform.

Support delivered

Launched in October 2020, the project assisted Bulgaria to address the existing challenges of the administrative penal system through legislative and regulatory amendments in light of EU Member States’ experience and good practices. The Commission provided support over a 20-month period in the form of technical advisory services by the OECD team of experts.

The support measures consisted of:

  • A comprehensive report assessing Bulgaria’s legislation on administrative penalties, including its special laws;
  • Concrete proposals for legislative and regulatory amendments for Bulgaria’s consideration based on the identified challenges, recommendations, standards and good practice;
  • An international conference to raise awareness on the reform of the administrative penalty system and share good practices among OECD EU Member States.

The project covered areas such as: general characteristics of the administrative sanctioning system; coherence between the administrative legal framework and the sanctions; subjective scope of the administrative penalty system, including difference between liability of individuals and of legal entities and the lack of distinction between administrative sanctions for individuals and legal entities; formulation and effectiveness of administrative penalties.

Results achieved

Support from the Commission delivered the following results:

  • altogether 36 public bodies, including ministries, state agencies and municipalities have contributed to the project in the course of a broad consultative process;
  • an analysis to assist Bulgaria to enhance the fairness, effectiveness, objectivity, and integrity of its administrative sanctioning system; and
  • 85 precise and concrete recommendations on legal amendments to support the authorities in implementing a comprehensive reform.

More about the project

You can find the final reports here: