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After Decree No 318 of 7 October 2022 adopting the Ordinance on the conditions and procedure for issuing, extending and revoking a certificate for a high-tech and/or innovative project (the "Ordinance") was promulgated in issue 82 of the State Gazette of 14 October 2022, Bulgaria joins the almost half of EU countries that issue "start-up visas".

ESG initiatives are rapidly becoming the status quo in the business world. Most corporations have some kind of sustainability measures in place in at least one of the three pillars – environmental, social, or governance. The majority of businesses in Bulgaria currently implement ESG projects voluntarily, indicating that stakeholders are not legally required to, for instance, incorporate climate mitigation and social responsibility initiatives into their organizations. But ESG trends aren’t going unnoticed by the regulators and ESG is gradually transforming into a compliance matter. However, beyond compliance, ESG lays the foundation for a competitive corporate strategy, positive climate action, and the discovery of new business opportunities.

The year 2021 effectively brought back the Bulgarian capital market into the spotlight of public interest. Seven IPOs were listed on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE), raising a total of EUR 12 million, which is the highest number of offerings in 15 years, going back to the period before the 2008 financial crisis. There is only one reason for this development: the rise of the SME Growth Market – beam – where all said IPOs have taken place.

On October 26, 2021, the General Assembly of the Supreme Court of Cassation issued Interpretative Judgment No. 5/2019, clarifying what procedure employers must follow with respect to employee layoffs on the grounds of “closure of part of the enterprise,” which at present is frequently utilized in the context of companies’ mergers and acquisitions.

In Bulgaria, one ordinary and two extraordinary parliamentary elections were held in the span of eight months in 2021, and the country is now preparing for yet another extraordinary election on October 2, 2022. Which outstanding legislative packages are critical – considering the absence of regular parliamentary activities – and what are their implications for the country?

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