The Government and Politics of the European Union

Seventh edition

by Neill Nugent


Population 7.6 m
Capital Sofia
Surface area 111,000 km2
Gross domestic product (GDP) (in euros) 70.43 bn
GDP as a % of EU-27, based on 2009 data 0.6
GDP per capita by purchasing power standards (indexed to EU average of 100) 40.5
Currency Lev (BGN)
Human development index (HDI), an index based on life expectancy, education and GDP (max. 1) 0.824
World rank in HDI 53/177
Key economic sectors Services (63.7); industry (25.6); agriculture (10.7)
Unemployment in January 2010 8.1% (source:
Main religious denominations (% of population) Eastern Orthodox Church (6.2); Muslim (0.9); Roman Catholic (.08)
Political system The President is elected for no more than two five-year terms. S/he nominates a prime minister from the largest party in the National Assembly.
Electoral system The President is elected by a simple majority system. All citizens and not only party members can vote in the primaries to decide who will run in the presidential election. The National Assembly is elected by proportional representation from a national party list.
Current (March 2010) leaders President: Georgi Parvanov (b. 1957), since January 2002
Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister): Boyko Borisov (b. 1959), since July 2009
Previous leaders: Presidents: Petar Stoyanov (1997-2002); Zhelyu Zheleve (1990-97)
Prime ministers: Sergey Stanishev (2005-09); Simeon Sakskoburggotski (2001-05); Ivan Kostov (1997-2001)
Joined the EU/EC 2007
Commissioner from country in Barroso II College of Commissioners, and portfolio Kristalina Georgieva, International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
Number of MEPs 18/754
Turnout in 2009 EP elections (%) 38.9
Member of eurozone No

Except where a specific reference is inserted, the sources for this profile are either Neill Nugent’s book itself, or Barry Turner (ed.), The Statesman’s Yearbook Online, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. If your library subscribes, you can gain access at