Bulgaria 1991 Constitution (reviewed 2015)


We, the Members of the Seventh Grand National Assembly, guided by our desire to express the will of the people of Bulgaria, by pledging our loyalty to the universal human values of liberty, peace, humanism, equality, justice and tolerance;

by holding as the highest principle the rights, dignity and security of the individual;

in awareness of our irrevocable duty to guard the national and state integrity of Bulgaria,

hereby proclaim our resolve to create a democratic and social state, governed by the rule of law, by establishing this CONSTITUTION.

Chapter I. Fundamental Principles

Article 1

  1. Bulgaria shall be a republic with a parliamentary form of government.
  2. The entire power of the State shall derive from the people. The people shall exercise this power directly and through the bodies established by this Constitution.
  3. No part of the people, no political party nor any other organization, state institution or individual shall usurp the expression of the popular sovereignty.

Article 2

  1. The Republic of Bulgaria shall be an unitary State with local self-government. No autonomous territorial formations shall be allowed to exist therein.
  2. The territorial integrity of the Republic of Bulgaria shall be inviolable.

Article 3

Bulgarian shall be the official language of the Republic.

Article 4

  1. The Republic of Bulgaria shall be a State governed by the rule of law. It shall be governed by the Constitution and the laws of the country.
  2. The Republic of Bulgaria shall guarantee the life, dignity and rights of the individual and shall create conditions conducive to the free development of the individual and of civil society.
  3. Republic of Bulgaria shall participate in the building and development of the European Union.

Article 5

  1. The Constitution shall be the supreme law, and no other law shall contravene it.
  2. The provisions of the Constitution shall apply directly.
  3. No one shall be convicted for action or inaction which at the time it was committed, did not constitute a crime.
  4. International treaties which have been ratified in accordance with the constitutional procedure, promulgated and having come into force with respect to the Republic of Bulgaria, shall be part of the legislation of the State. They shall have primacy over any conflicting provision of the domestic legislation.
  5. All legislative acts shall be promulgated and shall come into force three days after the date of their publication unless otherwise envisaged by the acts themselves.

Article 6

  1. All persons are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
  2. All citizens* shall be equal before the law. There shall be no privileges or restriction of rights on the grounds of race, national or social origin, ethnic self-identity, sex, religion, education, opinion, political affiliation, personal or social status or property status.* The term “citizens” refers to all individuals to whom this Constitution applies.

Article 7

The State shall be held liable for any damages caused by unlawful acts or actions on the part of its agencies and officials.

Article 8

The power of the State shall be divided between legislative, executive and judicial branches.

Article 9

  1. The armed forces shall guarantee the sovereignty, security and independence of the country and shall defend its territorial integrity.
  2. The activity of the armed forces shall be established by law.

Article 10

All elections, and national and local referendums shall be held on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

Article 11

  1. Political activity in the Republic of Bulgaria shall be founded on the principle of political pluralism.
  2. No political party or ideology shall be proclaimed or affirmed as a party or ideology of the State.
  3. All parties shall facilitate the formation and expression of the citizens’ political will. The procedure applying to the formation and dissolution of political parties and the conditions pertaining to their activity shall be established by law.
  4. There shall be no political parties on ethnic, racial or religious lines, nor parties which seek the violent seizure of state power.

Article 12

  1. Associations of citizens shall serve to meet and safeguard their interests.
  2. Associations, including trade unions, shall not pursue any political objectives, nor shall they engage in any political activity which is in the domain of the political parties.

Article 13

  1. The practicing of any religion shall be unrestricted.
  2. Religious institutions shall be separate from the State.
  3. Eastern Orthodox Christianity shall be considered the traditional religion in the Republic of Bulgaria.
  4. Religious institutions and communities, and religious beliefs shall not be used to political ends.

Article 14

The family, motherhood and children shall enjoy the protection of the State and society.

Article 15

The Republic of Bulgaria shall ensure the protection and reproduction of the environment, the conservation of living Nature in all its variety, and the sensible utilization of the country’s natural and other resources.

Article 16

Labour shall be guaranteed and protected by law.

Article 17

  1. The right to property and inheritance shall be guaranteed and protected by law.
  2. Property shall be private and public.
  3. Private property shall be inviolable.
  4. The regime applying to the different units of State and municipal property shall be established by law.
  5. Forcible expropriation of property in the name of State or municipal needs shall be effected only by virtue of a law, provided that these needs cannot be otherwise met, and after fair compensation has been ensured in advance.

Article 18

  1. The State shall enjoy exclusive ownership rights over the underground resources; beaches and national thoroughfares, as well as over waters, forests and parks of national importance, and the natural and archaeological reserves established by law.
  2. The State shall exercise sovereign rights in prospecting, developing, utilizing, protecting and managing the continental shelf and the exclusive off-shore economic zone, and the biological, mineral and energy resources therein.
  3. The State shall exercise sovereign rights with respect to radio frequency spectrum and the geostationary orbital positions allocated by international agreements to the Republic of Bulgaria.
  4. A state monopoly shall be establishable by law over railway transport, the national postal and telecommunications networks, the use of nuclear energy, the manufacturing of radioactive products, armaments and explosive and powerful toxic substances.
  5. The conditions and procedure by which the State shall grant concessions over units of property and licences for the activities enumerated in the preceding two paragraphs shall be established by law.
  6. The State shall utilize and manage all the state’s assets to the benefit of individual and society.

Article 19

  1. The economy of the Republic of Bulgaria shall be based on free economic initiative.
  2. The State shall establish and guarantee equal legal conditions for economic activity to all citizens and legal entities by preventing any abuse of a monopoly status and unfair competition, and by protecting the consumer.
  3. All investments and economic activity by citizens and legal entities shall enjoy the protection of the law.
  4. The law shall establish conditions conducive to the setting up of cooperatives and other forms of association of citizens and legal entities in the pursuit of economic and social prosperity.

Article 20

The State shall establish conditions conducive to the balanced development of the different regions of the country, and shall assist the territorial bodies and activities through its fiscal, credit and investment policies.

Article 21

  1. Land, as a chief national asset, shall enjoy particular protection on the part of the State and society.
  2. Arable land shall be used for agricultural purposes only. Any change in purposes shall be allowed only in exceptional circumstances, when necessity has been proven, and on terms and by a procedure established by a law.

Article 22

  1. Foreigners and foreign legal entities may acquire property over land under the conditions ensuing from Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union, or by virtue of an international treaty that has been ratified, promulgated and entered into force for the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as through inheritance by operation of the law.
  2. The law ratifying the international treaty referred to in para 1 shall be adopted by a majority of two thirds of all members of the Parliament.
  3. The land regime shall be established by law.

Article 23

The State shall establish conditions conducive to the free development of science, education and the arts, and shall assist that development. It shall organize the conservation of all national monuments of history and culture.

Article 24

  1. The Republic of Bulgaria shall conduct its foreign policy in accordance with the principles and norms of international law.
  2. The foreign policy of the Republic of Bulgaria shall have as its highest objective the national security and independence of the country, the well-being and the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Bulgarian citizens, and the promotion of a just international order.
Get more fascinating contents like this on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram