Bulgaria’s President will Appeal to the Constitutional Court about the Tax on Russian Gas

Politics | October 26, 2023, Thursday // 12:16
Bulgaria: Bulgaria’s President will Appeal to the Constitutional Court about the Tax on Russian Gas Rumen Radev

President Rumen Radev referred the Constitutional Court to the provisions of the Law on Control of the Implementation of Restrictive Measures in view of Russia's actions destabilizing the situation in Ukraine, which imposes "energy contributions" on the import of Russian natural gas into Bulgaria, as well as on its transmission to Europe through the territory of Bulgaria.

In his request to the Constitutional Court, the president states that a number of provisions enshrined in the Bulgarian Constitution have been violated. The disputed texts are inconsistent with the principle of legality of taxes and fees, as the legal nature of the newly introduced "contribution" and whether it is a tax, a fee or a customs duty is initially unclear, the presidency states.

According to the head of state, the principles of guaranteeing the right to property and free economic initiative have also been violated. Radev also believes that the law was adopted in contradiction to the rules for exercising legislative initiative and the principle of the rule of law.

The letter to the Constitutional Court also noted that the EU member states are in a customs union with each other and a ban has been introduced not only on customs duties between member states, but also on the unilateral imposition of "all charges with an effect equivalent to a customs duty". At the same time, the relations of EU member states with third countries are subject to the Common Customs Tariff, which is determined by the Council on the proposal of the European Commission. The EU sanctions regime also does not provide for Member States to impose additional restrictions on their own.

The head of state has already expressed a position that the decision of the Bulgarian parliament leads to an unacceptable risk of decapitalization and bankruptcy of a company that defines the structure of the Bulgarian energy sector, such as "Bulgartransgaz", and this is an additional reason for him to exercise his authority to appeal to the Constitutional Court, the presidential office points out.

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Tags: Constitutional Court, Radev, EU, Russian

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