International Development Law Organization

Improving investment in Bulgaria: Launch of judicial training program

IDLO, in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), launched a new program in Bulgaria that aims to improve the investment climate in the country through judicial training. The program employs a tailor-made training module specific to the needs of the Bulgarian judiciary on the implementation and enforcement of tax legislation.

Held at the Bulgarian National Institute of Justice in Sofia, the event served both as a launch event and hosted the first training sessions for thirty Bulgarian judges conducted by international academics and experts in the field, as well as other members of the Bulgarian judiciary.

To deal effectively with cases relating to tax, judges require a sound understanding of tax matters. After Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union the national tax system underwent significant transformations, including reforms to Bulgarian legal codes, existing legislation and the introduction of new laws.

As a result of this overhaul and due to the specialized nature of the work, judges require ongoing training dedicated to improving tax-related competencies to complement their legal expertise and increase the uniformity of judicial practice when handling relevant cases.  

“The comparative dimension of tax law is very important, particularly for judges: it is through judicial transplants and judicial networks that, today, important aspects of legal reform are pursued. A good knowledge of comparative tax law is becoming an important aspect of the legal education and training of top judges,” commented Professor Carlo Garbarino from Bocconi University, one of the experts present at the launch event.

Such training also assists and guarantees judicial independence, making judges less susceptible to improper influence. This increases investor confidence in the justice system and has positive implications for the country’s overall economic growth.

“IDLO’s goal is to identify and remove possible barriers in business and provide investors with the best possible business conditions. Tax policy should support investment and employment. We would like to witness the much more modern regulatory framework in Bulgaria so that investors know what to expect,” said IDLO’s Program Coordinator, Ljubomir Petruljeskov. “This is prerogative for better predictability and stability of the business environment, both elements important to investors. Finally, better legal security would lead to a larger inflow of foreign direct investments, all of which would contribute to economic growth and a better life for all both for investors and for society as a whole.''

The project will culminate in a regional meeting to enhance cooperation between the judicial training institutions and establish a framework for judicial training in the broader Western Balkan region.