Status: Not Ratified

Bulgaria has a unicameral system. In June 2020, the Nasrodno Sabrine (The National Assembly) started discussing the CETA bill, but the bill did not go to a second reading due to high public criticism. The current government, led by Galab Donev, a minority government (109/240), took office in August 2022. When the Nasrodno Sabranie approves the bill, the President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev (a past critic of CETA), must sign it before it comes into effect.

Public debate

The previous GERB government was largely supportive of CETA, however, its partner United Patriots were sceptical of CETA. President Radev aligns with the Socialist Party, which opposes ratification, as does the Green Movement. Contestation over CETA’s ratification has been intensive, initially focusing on visa requirements with Canada. Canada dropped requirements in 2017. Currently, contestation continues to focus on the use of GMOs, the investor-settlement dispute settlement provisions, and national sovereignty. CSOs opposed to CETA include trade unions, environmentalists and consumer advocacy groups; including Podkrepa, Fracking Free Bulgaria and GMO-Free Bulgaria.

Trade data

In 2021, Bulgaria had a trade deficit in goods trade with Canada of  €58 million (Eurostat). However, imports from Canada were €124 million, which is 0.8% of Bulgaria’s imports from outside the EU. Exports to Canada were €66 million, 0.6% of Bulgaria’s extra-EU exports (Eurostat). Canada-Bulgaria bilateral goods trade (imports + exports) grew by €65 million, or 45.5%, between 2016-2019 (Statistics Canada).


BNR Radio Bulgaria. (January 2020). “Bulgaria’s National Assembly approves CETA on first reading”. Link.
Corporate Europe Observatory. (November 2016). European and Canadian civil society groups call for rejection of CETA. Link
Eschbach, A. (The Ratification Process in EU Member States – A presentation with particular consideration of the TTIP and CETA free trade agreements (Eschbach, Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law). Link
Grigorova, V. (May 2019). “Globalization is the Opposite of Internationalism”. Jacobin. Link.
Medarov, G. (July 2021). “Bulgaria’s ‘Anti-Party’ Wants Even More Power for Corporate Lobbyists”. Jacobin. Link.
Novinite. (June 2019). “The Bulgarian Government Approved the CETA”. Link.

Click here to return to CETA Tracker: Main Page

Click here for the Centre for European Studies, EU Learning.