Bulgaria refers CETA to constitutional court

18 July 2017

Today, Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev has referred to the Constitutional Court a request for a mandatory interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution concerning the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States (CETA).

As an international treaty, CETA is a mixed agreement and includes issues of exclusive EU competence, national competence of Member States and shared competence between the EU and the Member States. CETA affects practically all spheres of public life, which requires citizens and institutions to have clarity about the nature of such agreements and their place in the Bulgarian constitutional model. The ratification of such agreements, which determine the state's development in the long-term, should be done with maximum consensus.

The request is for the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution relating to the conditions for the ratification and operation of such mixed international treaties (Articles 5 (4) and 85 (1) (9) of The Constitution), the participation of the Republic of Bulgaria in the EU (Article 4 (3) of The Constitution) and the economic development of the State (Articles 19 and 20 of The Constitution).

The interpretation of these provisions is important for the national legal system and for the participation of the Republic of Bulgaria in the construction and development of the EU. It will help Bulgaria to establish itself as a predictable partner in international relations. Revealing the exact meaning of constitutional provisions will also be important in the future when concluding similar agreements related to our country's EU membership.

These considerations motivate the head of state to exercise his power and refer the matter to the Constitutional Court as guardian of the supremacy of the Constitution.

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