History Of Relations
  9 August 1988
Diplomatic relations established between Bulgaria and the European Economic Community.

8 May 1990
Bulgaria and the European Economic Community signed the Convention on Trade, Business and Economic Relations. The PHARE Programme was opened for Bulgaria.

1 November 1990
The Convention on Trade, Business and Economic Relations became effective. It envisaged gradual elimination of the quantitative limitations on Bulgarian import to the Community, and making mutual concessions in the field of trade in agricultural goods.

22 December 1990
The Bulgarian Grand National Assembly adopted a decision whereby the willingness of the Republic of Bulgaria to become a member of the European Community was expressed.

1 October 1991
The European Council decided to authorize the European Commission to start preliminary talks with Bulgaria for signing Europe Agreement.

8 March 1993
The Europe Agreement for Bulgaria and the Provisional Agreement on Trade and Related Matters are signed.

15 April 1993
The Bulgarian Parliament ratified the texts of the Europe Agreement and the Provisional Agreement on Trade and Related Matters.

21 – 22 June 1993
The European Council in Copenhagen defined the political and economic criteria to be met by countries willing to join the EU.

31 December 1993
The Provisional Agreement on Trade and Related Matters became effective. The 1990 Convention on Trade, Business and Economic Cooperation is suspended in its business part.

March 1994
First meeting of the Joint Bulgaria - EU Committee was held. Sub-committees on approximation of legislation, competition, agriculture, transport, and customs cooperation were set up within the Committee.

14 April 1994
The Government of the Republic of Bulgaria adopted a declaration confirming the willingness of the country to become a member of the European Union.

24 November 1994
Bulgaria and the other associated countries were invited to join EU declarations on foreign policy and security matters.

9 – 10 December 1994
The European Council in Essen adopted a Strategy on Preparing the Associated CEE Countries for EU accession.

1 February 1995
The Europe Agreement for Bulgaria became effective.

22 March 1995
The Council of Ministers of Republic of Bulgaria adopted the Decree No 66 whereby a special European integration mechanism, involving a Government Committee, a Coordinating Commission, and a Secretariat on European Integration at the Council of Ministers, was created.

29 May 1995
First meeting of the Bulgaria - EU Association Council was held in Brussels. Bulgaria strategy for EU integration, regional stability, and the free movement of Bulgarian nationals to EU Member States and the Schengen group were discussed.

25 - 26 June 1995
European Council in Cannes adopted the White Paper on the Single Internal Market. The strategy on preparation of the Associated CEE Countries for integration into the Internal Market of the European Union was outlined.

6 – 8 September 1995
A Joint Bulgaria - EU Parliamentary Committee was set up in Sofia. The political and the social and economic situation in Bulgaria, Bulgaria - EU trade and economic relations, cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs, the PHARE Programme performance, the political situation in South and Central Europe were discussed.

25 September 1995
The Council of EU Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs approved a list of the countries (Regulation No. 2317/ 95), with a requirement for their nationals to have visas when crossing the external borders of the Union. Bulgaria is on the list.

December 1995
The Bulgarian Government adopted a decision to apply for EU membership.

14 December 1995
The Bulgarian Parliament adopted a resolution for official application of Bulgaria for EU membership.

16 December 1995
Third meeting of Heads of State and Government during the European Council in Madrid was held. Javier Solana was given the application of the Republic of Bulgaria for EU membership.

April 1996
The European Commission requested from the Bulgarian Government a detailed questionnaire to be filled in, so that an EC opinion on the Bulgaria application for membership is prepared.

31 July 1996
Answers to the questionnaire were prepared and delivered to the Delegation of the European Commission in Sofia.

14 December 1996
Meeting of the Heads of State and Government of EU Member States, the associated CEE countries, Cyprus, and the Baltic States was held within the European Council in Dublin.

24 – 25 February 1997
Third Association Council meeting was held. A joint analysis of the achieved results in Bulgaria’s adaptation to EU accession criteria was made.

17 – 18 March 1997
EC Commissioner Hans van der Bruk came on an official visit to Sofia. The basic measures to be taken by the Government for preparing Bulgaria for EU enlargement were outlined.

25 April 1997
The up-to-date answers to the European Commission questionnaire on Bulgaria’s adaptation to European criteria were submitted to the Delegation of EC to Bulgaria.

16 July 1997
The opinion on Bulgaria’s application for membership was published within Agenda 2000. The Republic of Bulgaria was assessed as a candidate country, which was not sufficiently prepared to start negotiations for accession. The European Commission adopted the Accession Partnership.

12 – 13 December 1997
The European Council in Luxembourg decided to start negotiations for accession with Hungary, Poland, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Cyprus. Along with that the Council decided to accelerate the preparation for negotiations with Bulgaria, Latvia, Slovakia and Rumania by starting a screening of the legislation.

23 March 1998
The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria adopted a National Strategy on Bulgaria’s Accession to EU.

27 April 1998
The multilateral screening of the legislation of Bulgaria has started.

May 1998
The Bulgarian Government adopted National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis.

4 November 1998
The European Commission published the first regular reports on the 1998 progress of the candidate countries towards membership.

10 March 1999
The Council of Ministers of Bulgaria set up the Council of European Integration and working groups for coordination of the accession process.

May 1999
An updated version of the National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis was prepared.

13 October 1999
The second European Commission regular reports on candidate countries’ progress were published.

29 November 1999
Memorandum on decommissioning Kozloduy NPP units was signed with EC.

10 December 1999
The European Council in Helsinki decided to start negotiations with Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania and Malta.

December 1999
The Council of Ministers of EU decided to update the Accession Partnership for Bulgaria.

January 2000
The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria appointed the Chief Negotiator of Bulgaria, the core team for negotiations and set up work groups according to negotiations’ chapters.

15 February 2000
The first Intergovernmental Conference on Bulgaria’s accession has launched the negotiations for EU membership.

March 2000
A Standing Committee “Council for European Affairs” was set up within the Bulgarian Parliament.

28 March 2000
The first work meeting at deputy level was held. Bulgaria presented negotiations’ positions on 8 chapters.

1 December 2000
The Council of Ministers on Justice and Home Affairs decided to remove Bulgaria from the negative Schengen visa list.

7 – 9 December 2000
The Nice European Council was held with the participation of the Heads of States and governments of the candidate countries. A formal decision for EU enlargement and the necessary institutional reforms was made.

9 October 2002
The Commission’s regular reports were published, recommending the accession of 10 new Member States. Bulgaria was recognized as a “functioning market economy”. The European Commission expressed its support for Bulgaria’s accession to the EU in 2007.

24-25 October 2002
The European Council in Brussels requests the Commission and the Council to prepare a “package” for Bulgaria and Romania to be presented at the Copenhagen meeting of the Heads of State in December 2002. The “package” should contain a detailed “roadmap” for accession of both countries and increased pre-accession assistance.

By the end of 2002
Bulgaria opened all negations chapters.

December 2002
The European Council in Copenhagen expressed its supports for Bulgaria and Romania in their efforts to achieve the objective of membership in 2007 and adopted roadmaps for both countries.

19-20 June 2003
The European Council in Thessaloniki supported Bulgaria in its efforts to achieve the objective of concluding the negotiations in 2004 and to become a member in 2007.

©SG 2003