The National Strategy is aimed at preparing the Republic of Bulgaria for a full-fledged membership in the European Union. The Strategy is based on the understanding that the accession of Bulgaria to the family of industrialized European democracies is a fundamental national interest. The Strategy is to be applied under new domestic and external conditions opening up promising prospects for our country.

On the internal plane, in 1997 stable foundations were laid down for political and economic stabilization of the country, normal functioning of the institutions and development of the civil society. As a result of the ongoing radical economic reforms under the currency board arrangements, a policy of economic growth is being introduced with a view to modernizing the country and ensuring higher living standards in conditions of a market environment and the rule of the law. The objective is that Bulgaria take its rightful place as a modern European state in the Balkans, in Europe and the world.

The Luxembourg European Council conclusions of 13 December, 1997 shaped up the new external framework of accession to the European Union. The inclusion of Bulgaria in the group of states participating in the process of enlargement of the European Union to the East is an expression of the high recognition, by the leading states in Europe, of the progress of reforms in the country and reaffirmation of their commitment to the success of these reforms.
The strategic objective of Bulgaria - membership in the European Union - enjoys a broad consensus of the political forces and in the society. This objective has no alternative for modern Bulgaria.

The subject of this Strategy is to map out the main lines of action of the country in a short-term, mid-term and long-term perspective. Its aim is to put the integration efforts in the framework of a streamlined and consistent policy, to set up priorities and principles in individual fields and to identify the specific tasks and instruments for their accomplishment. It deals also with the resources and organization needed for achieving the strategic objectives.
The Strategy for Accession to the European Union is to be implemented in the time frame determined by the ongoing processes in Bulgaria and the European Union.

For Bulgaria, this frame looks in the following way:

In the short-term perspective - in 1998 the Government will make all efforts to speed up the pre-accession activities so that Bulgaria can achieve a substantial progress in meeting the criteria for EU membership in order to enable the European Commission to make a positive review on the progress and dynamics of the country's preparation for accession. This is a key year in terms of our prospects of making up for missed-out possibilities
In the mid-term perspective - 1999-2001: the Govenment will aim at opening up negotiations on membership. By the end of that period results of the realization of the "Bulgaria 2001" Programme of the United Democratic Forces will be visible. It is realistic to expect qualitative changes in the characteristics of the Bulgarian reform under that period.

Parallel with meeting the Copenhagen criteria, Bulgaria will pursue two additional strategic objectives inextricably linked to its EU membership:

In the long-term perspective - from 2001 until we attain membership, the strategic task will be to successfully conduct and conclude the negotiations on accession of the country to the EU with all the obligations and advantages arising from full membership.

An integral part of the Strategy will be the Programme for its Implementation as well as programmes of development of individual sectors. They will contain measures for implementation of the recommendations outlined in the European Commission's Opinion on Bulgaria's application for membership, the implementation of the National Programme for the Adoption of of the Acquis Communautaire and the priorities set out in the Accession Partnership.

The main prerequisite for implementation of this Strategy is the consistent realization of the "Bulgaria 2001" Programme of the Government of the United Democratic Forces.
In terms of structure, the Strategy follows the above outlined time frame. In terms of contents, processes described therein are based on the membership criteria formulated by the European Council in Copenhagen in 1993, namely:

It is on the above criteria that the European Commission's evaluation of the readiness of our country to join the Union will be based.

The application of the Strategy will be subject to regular reviews and will be constantly assessed in the framework of the established mechanism of coordination of the activities of the Government with regard to European integration and preparation of Bulgaria for membership in the European Union.
The Strategy is closely linked to the participation of Bulgaria in the established forms of cooperation and preparation of the country for accession to NATO, WEU and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. These processes are not only inter-connected but mutually reinforcing in terms of achieving the objectives of the country.

The Strategy for Accession of Bulgaria to the European Union is also related to the participation of the country in the World Trade Organization, the Council of Europe, the organizations in the framework of the United Nations and OSCE. In its activities in these organizations Bulgaria will strictly follow its commitments undertaken as an associated country to the European Union.

The implementation of the Strategy will be a task of the entire Bulgarian Government, all Bulgarian institutions and the whole society. The National Assembly and the President of the Republic will also play an important role to that end. The Government will strive for maximum transparency of the integration process by informing the public on its progress and maintaining an active dialogue with non-governmental organizations and the business community.

The preparation for EU membership is a process which has, first and foremost, internal dimensions and affects the development of the country and society in every aspect. In order to be successful in implementing this Strategy Bulgaria relies on the firm commitment to the enlargement process undertaken by the European Union and its member-states. Bulgaria will actively cooperate with the other associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe and will study their experience in the preparation and conduct of accession negotiations.

The preparation of Bulgaria for accession to the European Union is a joint effort of all Bulgarians who should be prepared to meet the challenges of the future accession.

1. Short-term priorities - 1998
The main goal of the Government in the short-term perspective is to speed up the preparation for membership with a view to achieving a positive review of the progress and dynamics of the pre-accession activities.
1.1. Political criteria for membership
The Government proceeds from the European Commission' Opinion that "Bulgaria is on the way of meeting the political criteria for membership in the European Union" and believes that the solution of the specific issues outlined below will speed up the attainment of the expected degree of maturity of the democratic process.
1.1.1. Democracy and the rule of law Consolidating democratic institutions by way of : Achieving a considerable progress in the reform of state institutions by way of consistently implementing the Government Strategy of building up a modern administrative system of the Republic of Bulgaria along the following lines: Fighting organized crime and corruption by way of: Strengthening the democratic control over the activities of the special services and the armed forces by way of: Building up a professional and competent national police of a European type by way of: Guaranteeing the independence of national electronic media and equal treatment of the public and private sectors in line with European practices in this sphere by way of: Reforming the judiciary by way of:

1.1.2. Human rights, respect for and protection of persons belonging to minorities Ensuring favourable conditions for the work of non-governmental organizations by way of: Ensuring conditions for the exercise of religious rights and freedoms by way of: Developing and applying measures ensuring respect for and protection of persons belonging to minorities by way of: Strengthening independent institutions for protection of human rights by way of: Guaranteeing protection of the rights of the child and non-discrimination by way of: Preparing Bulgaria's accession to the European Social Charter
1.2. Economic criteria for membership
The implementation of economic criteria for membership is based on the firm commitment of the Government to change the prospects of Bulgaria by pursuing a consistent and successful policy of economic transformation.
1.2.1. Building up a functioning market economy Further price liberalization: Achieving a sustainable macro-economic stabilization by way of: Speeding-up the process of restructuring the industry with a view to creating competitive structures: Consistently implementing the Government programme of speeding up the privatization of state-owned enterprises by way of: Creating conditions for formation of a competitive agricultural sector by way of: Reforming the banking sector by way of: Consolidating the financial sector and carrying out a tax reform on the basis of the general principles formulated in "Bulgaria 2001" and the specific objectives of the tax policy with a view to achieving: Strengthening the institutions of independent financial control to ensure protection of the financial interests of the state by way of:

1.2.2. Capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces Elaborating and adopting a mid-term strategy of economic reconstruction and growth on the basis of the provisions of the "Bulgaria 2001" Government Programme in accordance with the criteria for EU membership. Achieving economic growth under the conditions of price stabilization
establishing conditions for a normal functioning of commodity markets and services allowing economic subjects to make decisions in conditions of predictability; Improving the investment climate and ensuring a flow of direct foreign investments by way of: Pursuing a policy of creating a favourable institutional, legal, administrative and financial environment for development of small and medium-sized enterprises and increasing their competitiveness by way of:

1.3. Assuming the obligations of membership, including adherence to the objectives of the political, economic and monetary union
The gradual assumption of the obligations of membership will be based on the commitments under the Europe Agreement, the Accession Partnership priorities, the preparations for joining the Internal Market and the common policies of the Union.
The specific objectives in the individual sectors of the Internal Market are laid out in the "Road Map", elaborated by the European Commission for each associated country. The "Road Map" for Bulgaria defines the concrete actions and time frames until the year 2002, brought together in four main fields - adoption of the Internal Market acquis, implementation of the rules of the Internal Market, improvement of the cooperation of the administrative structures and providing information and developing a dialogue with consumers on the advantages of the Internal Market - the citizens and the business community.
1.3.1. Implementing the provisions under the Europe Agreement Developing the political dialogue with the EU Member States in the light of the launch of the European Conference and the process of enlargement of the EU; Further improving the market access of Bulgarian exports of agricultural and processed agricultural products and fisheries; Accelerating the liberalization of the access of industrial exports from the EU to the Bulgarian market; Accelerated granting of national treatment as regards indirect taxation of EU products, imported into Bulgaria; Compensating the delays in the improvement of access to the EU markets by: Preparation for aligning the commitments in trade in services in conformity with the GATT Uruguay Round Agreements; Reviewing of the transitional periods under the Europe Agreement with a view of their possible extension. Further broadening the scope of application of the multilateral cumulation of preferential origin between the EU, EFTA and the associated countries by accession to CEFTA and concluding bilateral free trade agreements with the Baltic states; Taking further steps for facilitating trade by adaptation of the national customs system to the Community system. Adopting rules for application of agreements on state aid to Bulgaria-EU trade. Finalizing the procedure of adopting Rules for application of the provisions on competition.
1.3.2. Preparations for joining the Internal Market according to the Accession Partnership priorities. Improving the level of protection of intellectual property rights by way of: Implementing measures for approximation to the conditions of the Internal Market in the field of financial services by way of: Preparing for liberalization of capital flows and aligning the respective regulations with those of the EU by way of: Preparing an inventory and monitoring state aid by way of: Ensuring conditions of free competition by way of: Reforming the customs with a view to establishing a customs service, capable of assuming future responsibilities for the protection and control over the external border of the enlarged EU by way of: Strengthening veterinary and phytosanitary control: Technical barriers to trade: Government Procurement Improving the level of consumer protection by way of:

1.3.3. Progressive adoption and application of EU policies Agriculture

Elaborating the main principles for the development of competitive agriculture, meeting the economic criteria for EU membership and ensuring consumer protection and sustainable development of agriculture and agricultural regions by way of: Transport Regional Policy
Pursuing a regional policy aimed at achieving balanced and sustainable development, social and economic cohesion of the regions; enhancing the investment activity in the priority regions; encouraging the cooperation between the regions in Bulgaria and the regions in Europe and developing cross-border cooperation by way of: Energy
Elaborating an energy strategy in compliance with that of the EU, aimed at increasing the national self-sufficiency in energy, increasing the efficiency of the sector, rational utilization of local energy resources, providing for reliable electricity supply and integration in the European networks for transfer of electricity and gas supply, reducing the negative impact of the sector on the environment and applying nuclear safety control by way of: Communications
Accelerating the reform of telecommunications infrastructure and services in market conditions and providing for equal access to consumers by way of: Industry
Accelerating the process of restructuring the industry and gradual introducing the components of the European industrial policy by way of: Environment
Enhancing the cooperation in the field of environmental protection and health care; undertaking measures for integration of economic, ecological and social policies and reinforcing the administrative capacity for implementing EU legislation by way of: Nuclear safety
Ensuring the safe use of the nuclear energy by way of: Research and development
Enhancing the cooperation in the field of research and development by way of: Social policy, training, education, public health and culture
Social policy
Pursuing social policy aimed at ensuring an adequate social protection through fundamental restructuring of the existing programmes; creating a well functioning labour market avoiding the big disbalances, stimulating the increase of productivity guaranteeing acceptable quality of working environment and ensuring sufficient income for the gradual improvement of living standards and introducing a financially stable social system and a compulsory social insurance system, supported by regulatory schemes for voluntary and compulsory social insurance by way of:

Policy in the field of education
Harmonious development of human resources and increasing the overall education level and vocational training in Bulgaria by way of:

Cultural policy and audiovision
Enhancing the participation in European cultural life via activation of the bilateral and multilateral cooperation between Bulgaria and the EU, on the basis of the principles of decentralization and transparency of the cultural policy, equal treatment of the cultural operators /state, local, private, non-governmental/, market oriented approach of cultural institutions and encouragement of the competitiveness of national cultural production by way of:

Health care

Policy in the field of youth, physical education and sports Information Society
drawing up a National Programme for the development of Information Society;
establishing a National Coordination Council on the Information Society. Statistics
Undertaking initiatives for the approximation of legislation and statistical methodology with those of the EU in the following directions:

1.3.4. Common Foreign and Security Policy /CFSP/
Ensuring compatibility of Bulgaria's foreign policy with the principles, priorities and practice of CFSP by way of:

1.3.5. Enhancing the cooperation with the EU in the field of Justice and Home Affairs Creating conditions for reconsidering the existing visa regime between Bulgaria and the EU member-states, with a focus on migration issues, border control and passport and visa regime, by way of: Organizational, technical and resource strengthening the specialized units and services, including the establishment of a National Service for Fighting Financial Fraud and Circumvention; Improving the mechanisms and legislative basis for preventing money laundering; Developing new regulations for legal assistance on criminal cases and extradition, in line with EU standards; Concluding bilateral agreements on legal assistance with EU member-states, supplementing the basic EU conventions in the field of penal proceedings.

2. Mid-term priorities 1999 - 2001
The strategic objectives for the period 1998 -2001 include successful completing the preparation and launching negotiations for Bulgaria's accession to the European Union, achieving the Maastricht convergence criteria for membership in the Economic and Monetary Union and establishment of Bulgaria as an infrastructure centre in South-Eastern Europe .
The main characteristics of this period will be related to the implementation of the "Bulgaria 2001" Programme of the Government and the achievement of specific results with respect to the economic development of the country. The organizational and technical preparation of negotiations and the assessment of the impact of membership will also to be completed within this period. The efforts will be directed at overcoming the lagging behind in the different sectors and policies and will be concentrated on achieving qualitative progress in all Community policies which will provide most favourable preconditions for conducting successful negotiations.

2.1. Political criteria for membership
The process of implementing fully the political criteria for membership will develop in the following directions:
2.1.1. Expanding the possibilities for protection of individual freedoms;
2.1.2. Achieving considerable progress in combating organized crime and corruption, including within the context of the Schengen acquis by way of:

2.1.3. Finalizing the reform of state institutions and ensuring observance of the principles of the constitutional state at all levels and establishing a stable, professional and efficient administration, functioning under the conditions of independence, transparency and accountability by way of:

2.1.4. Establishing preconditions for applying the EU legislation in the Bulgarian by way of:

2.1.5. Further integrating minority groups in society by way of:

2.1.6. Providing equal treatment of religious denominations and groups by adopting new legislation on matters concerning religion and the order of registration of religious denominations and groups.
2.1.7. Improving the conditions for functioning of the civil society institutions by way of:

2.2. Economic criteria for membership
Implementing the Copenhagen economic criteria and achievement of long-term stabilization through successive bringing the macro-economic indices in line with the aims of the Economic and Monetary Union.
The implementation of this aim will be provided by:
2.2.1. Economic growth under the conditions of stable prices, corresponding to the requirements for environment protection;
2.2.2. Conducting a fiscal policy directed at maintaining a balanced budget and reducing the state debt by way of:

2.2.3. Creating conditions for normal functioning of markets of goods and services
2.2.4. Finalizing the process of privatization and reconstruction of the real sector and the financial system
2.2.5. Adopting EU legislation in the fields of economic and monetary policy with a view of preparing the future participation in the Economic and Monetary Union, by way of:

2.2.7. Updating the national infrastructure and establishing Bulgaria as an infrastructure centre in South Eastern Europe
2.2.8. Conducting a policy aimed at achieving real convergence in line with EU objectives for social and economic cohesion, compatible with the objective of preparing for participation in the European Economic and Monetary Union.
2.3. Assuming the obligations of EU membership including adherence to the aims of the political, economic and monetary union.
2.3.1. Implementing the provisions of the Europe Agreement Enhancing the political dialogue with EU member-states; Reinforcing the institutions established within EAA for monitoring its implementation; Preparing for a decision on transition to the second stage of association, as well as on further evolution of the agreements; Further improving of the access to EU market by: Adapting the Europe Agreement in the field of "trade in services" to the agreements reached in GATT Uruguay Round; Launching negotiations on mutual recognition of diplomas;
2.3.2. Preparing for participation in the Internal Market
1.Free movement of goods
In the field of technical barriers to trade: Free movement of persons Freedom of provision of financial services Free movement of capital Intellectual property rights
Providing a level of protection similar to that existing in EU, including comparable means for its implementation by way of: Government procurement
Achieving implementation of the principles of complete transparency; equality and effectiveness of government procurements by way of: Competition
Implementing fully the system of norms for the protection of competition by way of:

2.3.3. Progressive adoption and application of EU policies
The common strategic objectives for all listed below sectors are:

The specific objectives in the individual sectors are as follows: Trade policy Customs Agriculture: Transport Regional policy Energy Communications

Further developing and liberalizing communication services market, establishing Bulgaria as a strategic communication centre in South Eastern Europe and participating in pan-European networks and services by way of: Industry Environment Nuclear safety Research and Development activity Social policy, training, education, health care and culture
Social policy
Carrying out activities directed at creating conditions for improvement and integration of control over the observance of requirements for health and safety at work, ensuring the balance between demand and supply of labour force, reducing additional pressure over the labour market caused by restructuring of economic and social sphere; creating optimal conditions for operation of the labour market by bringing the regulations in line with European standards; developing a system for voluntary social insurance and professional insurance funds; developing of social services systems, charity and humanitarian assistance and establishing new funds for social and investment purposes. The efforts will be concentrated along the following lines:

Education Policy

Health care

Cultural Policy Policy in the fields of youth, physical education and sport Information Society
Creation of legal and regulatory framework in harmony with general European standards and technological opportunities for the development of information society, introduction of information technologies for state and municipal administrations, introduction of electronic trade. Statistics

2.3.4. Preparation for full participation in the Common Foreign and Security Policy

2.3.5. Cooperation in the field of Justice and Home Affairs

3. Long-term priorities - from 2001 until accession
The strategic aim for this period is the successful conduct of negotiations for EU membership.
This aim includes the overall preparation and adaptation for work under the conditions of membership, adoption of EU principles of work and full harmonisation of Bulgarian legislation with the Union acquis. The reference point in this period is the achievemnt of objectives and principles formulated in the Treaty on European Union and strict implementation of the obligations under the Europe Association Agreement.

3.1. Political criteria for membership

  • active participation of non-governmental organizations in social, economic and political life;
  • development of mechanisms for effective and full civil control over the state and municipal administration.

3.2. Economic criteria for membership
The main objective will be the achievement and maintenance of financial stabilization as a condition for respecting the Maastricht convergence criteria set out in the Treaty on European Union and the respective Protocol on the Statute of the European System of central banks and the European Central Bank.
3.3. Assuming the obligations of membership
Achieving the capacity to assume obligations in the fields of free movement of goods, persons, services and capital in the context of the EU Internal market in full range, on the basis of open market economy and free competition, respecting the conditions of the Economic and Monetary Union in EU. Creating conditions for the development of information society, making assessment of new social aspects and rendering assistance to small and medium-size business.
With regard to Community policies the main objective will be the preparation for applying some of the components of EU common policies in the period prior to accession, including final establishemnt and functioning of necessary structures for their application.
Further development and participation of Bulgaria in trans-European networks with the purpose of establishing Bulgaria firmly as a regional infrastructure centre in South Eastern Europe by way of:

3.4. Common Foreign and Security Policy
Achieving close coordination with EU on matters of common interest by way of:

3.5. In the field of justice and home affairs

4. Approximation of legislation
In its " Bulgaria 2001" Programme, the Government defined the work of approximating the Bulgarian legislation to the EU acquis as a top priority of its legislative activity. The main instrument for planning and coordinating the approximation is the National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis. It is based on the Accession Partnership and represents a dynamic plan with a short- /1998/ and mid-term perspective /up to 2001/. The Programme comprises both legislative priorities and the institutional and financial back-up of the approximation process. The Programme has been approved by the Government as a basic document to measure the progress of the country in its preparation for accession negotiations. An integral part of the Programme are the National Harmonogram and Tables of Concordance prepared and updated by the Ministry of Justice and Legal Euro-Integration on the basis of information from sectoral ministries and other institutions.
Both the present and future Bulgarian legislation is subject to approximation. Approximation will be effected with regard to all the EU acquis.
The process of approximation will be monitored in a close interaction with sectoral ministries and agencies by way of:

4.1. Short-term priorities
4.1.1. In the field of Internal Market:
protection of the intellectual property rights; financial services; taxation; first systematization of state aid; adoption of monitoring rules on state aid; adoption of a new Law on the Protection of Competition; law on the civil service; company law; insurance; securities; telecommunications; consumer protection.
4.1.2. In the field of justice and home affairs:
combating organized crime; measures against money-laundering in compliance with the newly passed legislation; improving the border control; combating audio-piracy.
4.1.3. Environment
4.1.4. Energy
4.1.5. Transport
With a view to monitoring the approximation process and correcting, in time, the orientation and rates of development of the process, ministries and agencies will make periodic reports to analyse the effects of accession in each individual sector.
All drafts of normative acts are to be accompanied by a special certificate of correspondence containing an estimation of its compliance with the European legislation. The author of the draft will present a thorough evaluation of the structure of monitoring the implementation of the act, availability of trained personnel and budget funds for its implementation. The Government has proposed that a detailed procedure of evaluation of the concordance of laws be worked out and applied before these laws are passed by the National Assembly.
An important aspect of approximation is the enhancement of the legal culture of lawyers and the civil servants with regard to the standards and legal practices of the European Union. A national programme of training of the state administration in European law is to be implemented. Special programmes are envisaged to familiarise judges with the problems of European legal practices. In this context, the possibilities of PHARE, TAIEX as well as the assistance offered by a number of EU member-states will be widely utilized.
4.2. Mid-term priorities - 1999-2001
4.2.1. Internal market - in all spheres Justice and home affairs Agriculture Energy Transport Labour and social policy Environment Regional policy and cohesion

5. Organizational and resource back-up of the Strategy
5.1. Short-term objectives and priorities
5.1.1. Financial resources: Fulfilling the obligations of Bulgaria under the Europe Agreement and achieving progress with regard to the Copenhagen criteria, as a precondition for further EU financial assistance. Efficient use of the funds under 1998 Phare Programme /60 MECU/; Efficient use of the sources under the new catch-up facility, set up especially for Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia, amounting to 100 MECU from the total Phare budget / may be used in 1998 and 1999 /; . Utilization of funds under multinational and horizontal programmes of Phare Financing Phare pilot projects in the field of regional development, land reform, restructuring and privatization of large industrial enterprises in the context of the preparation of Bulgaria for participation in EU structural funds; Co-financing of projects from EIB, EBRD and the World bank on priority projects in the field of environment, transport, implementation of EU norms and standards with Phare funds and funds of the international financial institutions, as well as of the new EC Large scale Infrastructure Facility; Provision of budget funds for financing the participation in priority programmes of EU; Investigating the possibility of setting up a special "European Integration" fund within the national budget to finance participation in programmes, projects and other EU events, as well as for preparation for negotiations with the Union.
5.1.2. Administrative capacity for EU membership Adopting of the necessary legislative acts to provide a stable and functioning state administration /according to the priorities of implementation of the administrative reform of the Government/, setting as a priority the Law on the state administration and the Law on the civil service; Completing the establishment of European integration units in Ministries and other state institutions; Reinforcing the internal mechanism of ministries and institutions for coordinating their relations with EU in different sectors and improving the interinstitutional mechanism for coordination of the preparation for accession; Building up the administrative infrastructure for implementing EU's new mechanisms and instruments by setting up a national Phare Coordination Center in the MFA, Phare Information Office in the MFA, CFCU and National Investment Fund in the Ministry of Finance; Participating in the "twinning of institutions" focusing on finance, environment, agriculture, justice and home affairs, and further on energy, standardization, competition etc.; Initiating the preparation of a delegation for future accession negotiations and the whole set of activities, which accompany the preparation of national positions for negotiations with EU, including:

5.2. Medium-term priorities
5.2.1. Financial resources: Further use of the catch-up facility /1999/ and the Phare programme /until 2000/, including the funds for cross-border cooperation; Use of assistance mechanisms along the line of funds and policies of the EU, including the reformed Common Agricultural Policy, Structural funds and Cohesion Fund ;
5.2.1. 3. Participation in new Community programmes; Use of foreign investments in Bulgaria, the flow of which will depend on the successful preparation for accession; Use of state budget allocations envisaged for European integration activities.
5.2.2. Administrative capacity for EU membership Completion of the administrative reform at all levels, including training of civil servants, amendments to the legislation, improvement of mechanisms for assignment and control of government procurement; improvement of the functioning of the judiciary; further development of the Chamber of Audit and internal control structures; reinforcement of authorities for the protection of the competition and monitoring bodies for state aid; improvement of the accounting, auditing, statistics and nuclear-power regulatory bodies; reinforcement of institutions in the field of justice and home affairs (by providing the necessary properly trained personnel), and consolidation of food control authorities; Completion of the overall integrated telecommunications infrastructure and state administration information system, open and consistent with EU standards; Setting up a mechanism within the Council of Ministers for comprehensive coordination of the activities related to Bulgaria's participation in programmes for technical assistance provided by EU, international organizations and along the line of bilateral contacts; In order to achieve the strategic aim of transforming Bulgaria into a regional infrastructure center, a special governmental center is to be created to deal with all aspects of infrastructure /political, economical, legal, international/, including in the context of EU accession negotiations; Reinforcement of the Bulgarian Mission to the European Communities in Brussels and Embassies in EU member-states capitals, as well as in other acceding countries; Final composition of the accession negotiations delegation and final development and updating of the national positions for negotiations; In the context of effective training of civil servants the efforts will be aimed at:

5.2.3. Partnership with the European Union Establishing contacts with the European Monetary Institute in Frankfurt, which will assume as from 1 January, 1999 the functions of a Central European Bank in the framework of the Economic and Monetary Union; Expanding the cooperation with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and the Committee of Regions of the EU Exploring the possibilities for developing cooperation with the EU in the field of scientific and technical cooperation and research activity; Establishing contacts with the main pressure groups in EU - associations of employers and of workers, farmers, industrial workers, consumers and main NGOs; Reviewing the bilateral relations with EU member-states with the purpose to activate the work in the capitals and to assure favourable attitude to Bulgaria in the future negotiations; Acceding to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development /OECD/
5.3 Long-term objectives and priorities
5.3.1 Financial resources

5.3.2 Administrative resources
Providing availability of properly trained personnel, able to begin at any moment working in the institutions of the EU
5.3.3 Partnership with the European Union

6. Information campaign
The active and positive information campaign increasing the awareness of Bulgarian society on issues related to full-fledged EU membership is an essential part of the pre-accession strategy.
6.1. The main characteristics of the information campaign will be - balanced approach; openness; realism in assessment of the pre-accession activities and of the expected social results arising from EU membership; differentiated approach with regard to the different target groups; applying various techniques, such as:

6.2 In the short-term perspective - by the end of 1998, the campaign will focus on providing general information. Within this period will be finalized:

6.3 In the mid-term perspective - by the end of 2001 the focus will be gradually shifted towards the new qualitative characteristics of full-fledged membership
6.4 The campaign will be carried out against the background of the existing broad consensus in society in favour of EU membership. It will provide information in two main directions:

6.5 The specifics of the different groups will be taken into consideration in the campaign, namely large social groups; eminent personalities and groups; organizations; opponent to EU groups.
6.6 The information campaign will make use both of the national (public) media and the private media engaged with European integration.
6.7 The campaign will involve the structures and organizations of the civil society, including NGOs, specialized research and information centers in the field of EU, etc.

march, 1998