Plovdiv. Photo: Alan Grant

Did you know that…

Key facts:

Official Name:

Republic of Bulgaria

Population:

7,364,570 (National Statistical Institute - NSI, 2011), 84.8% Bulgarians, 8.8% Turks, 4.9% Roma (Census 2011)

Capital city:

Sofia (1,178,331 inhabitants, NSI, 2011)

Area:

110,910 km2

Currency:

Bulgarian Lev (BGL)

GDP:

€ 39,940 million (2013, at market prices, Eurostat)

GDP per capita:

12,000 (in purchasing power parity, 2013, Eurostat)

Employment rate:

63.5 % (20-64 year olds, Eurostat)

Average monthly wages and salaries (gross):

€ 419 = 820 BGN (NSI, September 2014)

Short chronology of EU accession:

March 1993

Europe Agreement signed (an association agreement providing mainly for preferential trade measures)

31 December 1993

Interim Agreement enters into force (provides for the interim application of the Association Agreement until ratification by all EU members)

1 February 1995

Association Agreement enters into force (replacing interim agreement)

13 December 1997

Candidate status (European Council Luxembourg)

15 February 2000

Start of accession negotiations with the European Commission

15 June 2004

Closure of negotiations

13 April 2005

European Parliament gives assent to Accession Treaty (534 votes in favour, 88 against, 69 abstentions)

25 April 2005

Signing of accession treaty

1 January 2007

EU accession

Prime ministers during the accession process:

12 Feb - 20 May 1997

Stefan Sofianski (Union of Democratic Forces - UDF; interim government)

21 May 1997 - 24 July 2001

Ivan Kostov (Union of Democratic Forces - UDF)

24 July 2001 - 17 Aug 2005

Simeon Saxe-Coburgotski (National Movement Simeon II)

17 August 2005 – 27 July 2009

Sergei Stanishev (Bulgarian Socialist Party)

Membership in other international organisations:

UN

14 December 1955

OSCE

25 June 1973 (founding member)

Council of Europe

7 May 1992

WTO

1 December 1996

NATO

29 March 2004

last updated: 14 November 2014