sábado, 13 de outubro de 2012

Economic situation, integration process of Bulgaria in the European Union and changes

After joining the EU, the citizens of Bulgaria became part of a zone full with peace, stability, security and prosperity, which provides high standards of policies in the field of environment, health, food safety. Every Bulgarian citizen has the right to travel, study, live or develop their own business in each Member State. All Bulgarian citizens can vote for the local and European Parliament elections in the Member State in which they live. They can also use their language in matters related to the EU, after the Bulgarian language turning an official EU language. The citizens of the union and permanent residents of the EU territory can easily turn to the institutions with a request or complaint. Moreover, the acceptance of Bulgaria in the European Union has positive outcomes over   the overall economy of Bulgaria. For instance, it gives the country essential benefits for the competitiveness of Bulgarian firms. Moreover, border controls were abolished. This reduced the costs of enterprises, and makes easier and faster the movement of goods.
Another change that has been accepted is that smoking is forbidden in the non-open areas.  According to me, that is a very positive step toward more European attitude. However, many people working in the restaurant and service industries have numerous complainings about that policy, and even point that change was negative. Furthermore, the health ministry provides data, according to which, in the period from the 1st of June to the 27th of September  this year, nearly 20,000lv fines have been issued  for violating the smoking ban. Statistics suggest that over this period, there have been nearly 75,000 daily and nightly checks on 71,000 sites in the weekdays and weekends. 1470 prescriptions were issued, 123 acts were composed to individuals, 81 were issued criminal warrants of individuals and legal entities. In short, for the last three months of the introduction of the prohibition to smoke in restaurants, the country has reported a drop of 20 to 50% in monthly turnover.
To continue: the official currency in Bulgaria is the Lev. There have been many discussions in the country if the acceptance of the euro is a good idea. In my view, that would have positive effects over the stability of the country, trust in economy and would attract more investors.  However, that is still just an idea, and Bulgarian politicians are still thinking about that opportunity. For now, they want to stay with the Bulgarian Lev, but some people believe that in 1 or 2 years it is possible to take this step.
To conclude, the outcome of the integration of Bulgaria in the EU has many advantages and very few disadvantages. According to me, all the endeavors for the entrance were worthwhile, and I believe the European lifestyle can be very beneficial for us, and if all people make effort to follow that way of  life, not only our everyday, but also the whole economic situation in the country can become better.

Sania Nikolova

[artigo de opinião produzido no âmbito da unidade curricular “Economia Portuguesa e Europeia” do 3º ano do curso de Economia (1º ciclo) da EEG/UMinho]

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