Bulgarian Parliament Adopts Bill Regulating Security Services at First Reading
Bulgarian MPs adopted at first reading on Wednesday, the structural bill, which regulates the activities of the security services.
The bill, which had been tabled by the ruling GERB party, garnered the support of 114 MPs, 32 opposed it, while one abstained.
The opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), nationalists Ataka and an independent MP opposed the bill, daily Dnevnik reports.
The remaining parliamentary groups were in favour of the bill and declared the need for a legislative basis in the sector.
However they commented that they will attempt to make amendments between first and second reading.
The main focus of the bill is the regulation of the activities of the security services and the security council to the prime minister.
The bills foresee for the security council to the prime minister to be attended by two representatives of the president, with the Head of State being able to participate personally in the meetings.
Parliamentary control is foreseen for the three services – National Service for Protection (NSO), National Intelligence Service (NRS) and the Defence Information Service through control of financial expenses for certain operations.
The control will be exercised by the relevant parliamentary committee on control of the security services.
In the beginning of March, GERB tabled the four bills to parliament, which had been approved at first reading in the first term of Boyko Borisov as Prime Minister.
These were approved after an agreement had been reached at a meeting of the consultative council for national security to President Rosen Plevneliev.
The resignation of the first Borisov government prevented the parliament to approve the bills in full.
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