Bulgarian Defense Ministry Pushes for Increase in Military Spending to 2.5% of GDP

Politics » DEFENSE | April 12, 2024, Friday // 14:14
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Defense Ministry Pushes for Increase in Military Spending to 2.5% of GDP @Ministry of Defense

Amidst discussions in the Bulgarian parliament, Acting Minister of Defense Atanas Zapryanov has announced plans for a significant boost in military spending, aiming for it to reach 2.5% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Zapryanov emphasized the need for this increase during a briefing in the National Assembly, highlighting the importance of modernizing military equipment while ensuring adequate personnel support.

According to Zapryanov, the proposed hike in military spending is crucial to address existing challenges within the armed forces, including personnel shortages and the need for updated pay structures. He stressed the paradox of having advanced weaponry without sufficient personnel to operate it effectively, underlining the importance of investing in both equipment and personnel.

In line with this initiative, all parliamentary groups are jointly proposing a draft law to raise military salaries by nearly 30%, aiming to align them with the average national wage. This move, expected to come into effect from January 1, 2025, aims to address the current disparity in military remuneration and mitigate the high turnover rate among servicemen.

GERB MP Hristo Gadjev emphasized that inadequate compensation is a primary reason for military personnel leaving the armed forces, underscoring the need for strategic investments in human resources. The proposed salary increase, if approved, would significantly raise the average military salary from BGN 1,450 to BGN 2,200, making military service more attractive and competitive in the labor market.

Furthermore, discussions in parliament also revolved around determining military formations and structures to supplement the armed forces in wartime, reflecting ongoing efforts to enhance Bulgaria's defense capabilities. Minister Zapryanov clarified that these measures do not signify a political decision to reintroduce conscription but rather aim to bolster interest in military service, particularly in areas with significant personnel shortages like the Ground Forces.

As deliberations continue, the focus remains on revitalizing the Bulgarian Army, not only through investments in new weaponry but also through strategies to attract and retain qualified personnel. The proposed legislative changes signal a proactive approach to address existing challenges and strengthen Bulgaria's defense posture in an evolving security landscape.

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Tags: Bulgaria, defense, military, personnel

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