(Promulgated, State Gazette № 97/25.11.2014)


Chapter One
GENERAL PROVISIONS


Article 1. The National Assembly shall organize and conduct its business pursuant to the Constitution and these Rules.
Article 2. The National Assembly shall sit on the premises of the National Assembly in the capital city, save as when it may decide to sit elsewhere in exceptional circumstances

Chapter Two
CONSTITUTION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND CHANGES IN ITS LEADERSHIP


Article 3. (1) The first sitting of the National Assembly shall be opened by the eldest Member present. The said Member shall chair the sitting until the National Assembly elects its President.
(2) The Members of the National Assembly shall take a spoken oath in pursuance of Article 76, paragraph 2 of the Constitution, in witness of which they shall sign individual oath papers.

Article 4. (1) Under the Chair of the eldest Member debates shall be held exclusively on the election of a President of the National Assembly and the election itself shall be conducted.
(2) At the first sitting of the National Assembly the Members shall adop rules of procedure on the terms and conditions for election of President and Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly.

Article 5. (1) The President and Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly can be discharged of their powers before the expiry of the term in cases where:
1. he/she so requests;
2. a motion in writing is submitted of not less than one third of all Members when he/she is objectively incapable of fulfilling his/her duties, or systematically abuses his/her authority or systematically fails to carry out the duties within his/her competencies.
3. a motion in writing is submitted by the parliamentary group, formed by the parliamentary party or coalition, which has nominated them.
(2) The Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly shall be discharged of powers before the term expiry when they have quit the parliamentary group which has nominated them, when they have been expelled by it, or when the parliamentary group has ceased to exist.
(3) In the cases under paragraph 1(1) and of paragraph 2, the discharge shall be announced without a debate or vote.
(4) In the cases under paragraph (1) 2 and 3 the motion shall be put to a vote at the first sitting following the submission date, allowing the person concerned the right to a hearing. The motion shall be deemed carried if it has been supported by more than one half of the Members of the National Assembly in attendance.
(5) In the event of an early discharge from office as per paragraph ( 1) and (2), a new election shall take place within 14 days from the said decision to discharge was adopted in accordance with the rules of procedure, adopted by the National Assembly. Until new elections for President of the National Assembl are held , the latter shall be chaired by the Vice-President, nominated by the biggest parliamentary party or coalition represented, registered for participation by the Central Elections Commisison in the last elections , which has nominated the President.

Article 6. The National Assembly shall elect 8 Secretaries from among the Members.

Article 7. At subsequent sittings, the National Assembly shall elect Standing Committees.

Chapter Three
LEADERSHIP OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY


Article 8. (1) The President of the National Assembly, in pursuance of his/her powers under Article 77, paragraph 1 and Article 78, item 1 of the Constitution, shall:
1. announce the bills and other motions submitted to the National Assembly and assign such bills and motions to the Committees in accordance with their sphere of competence;
2. authenticate the contents of the acts adopted by the National Assembly;
3. ensure that appropriate conditions exist for the work of the Committees of the Members of the National Assembly;
4. Establish, in coordination with the Presidents’ Council, House Rules to be observed on the National Assembly premises and in the use of facilities;
5. organize the drafting, implementation and accounting of the National Assembly budget;
6. authenticate by his/her signature the shorthand records of the sittings of the National Assembly;
7. oversee the publication of the “State Gazette” as well as exercise other powers pursuant to the “State Gazette” Act;
8. establish, in coordination with the Presidents’ Council, seating arrangements in the plenary hall for the Members of the National Assembly allocated by Parliamentary Group, for the Members of the Council of Ministers, and for the President and the Vice-President of the Republic;
9. require, after a vote, information from the Secretaries of the National Assembly about Members who voted using voting cards other than their own, except in cases as per Art. 63, paragraph (3);
10. ensure and observe the compliance with these Rules;
11. approve the uniform schedule of staff positions at the National Assembly and the staffing of its departments;
12. appoint and dismiss the Secretary General of the National Assembly, the staff at the President’s Office and the staff at the offices of the Vice-Presidents and the Parliamentary Groups subject to the latter’s proposals;
13. endorse Operational Rules for the Administration of the National Assembly;
14. oversee the internal and external security of the National Assembly placed under his/her orders;
15. appoint and dismiss the quaestors of the National Assembly.
16. perform other functions he/she is entrusted with under the Constitution, the law and these Rules.
(2) The Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly shall assist the President and exercise the tasks assigned to them by him/her;
(3) The President of the National Assembly, in consultation with the Presidents’ Council, determines with a written order the Vice-Presidents who are to lead the sittings of the week. The seats in the Presidium are taken by the Vice-Presidents determined in the order;
(4) Should the President of the National Assembly decide to delegate on a permanent basis the performance of his/her functions under paragraph (1) to the Voce-Presidents, he/she shall issue an order in writing distributing these functions among them;
(5) The President of the National Assembly shall designate one of his/her deputies to act for him/her in his/her absence and if that has not been done, he/she shall be substituted by the Vice-President elected from the biggest party or coalition’s parliamentary group, registered in the Central Electoral Commission for participation in the last parliamentary elections;
(6) If the President takes part in a floor discussion on a certain matter, the session shall be chaired by a Vice-President designated by him/her. In this case he/she shall not resume the Chair for the same session before the vote or the adjournment of debates on the said matter;
(7) The President of the National Assembly shall have the right to establish a Consultative Council on Legislation. The organization, functions and composition of said Council shall be governed by rules approved by the President of the National Assembly. Members of non-profit legal entities, registered as acting for the benefit of society may participate in the Council.

Article 9. (1) The President of the National Assembly shall be assisted by a Presidents’ Council consisting of the Vice-Presidents and the Leaders of Parliamentary Groups or their duly authorised substitutes.
(2) The Presidents’ Council shall:
1. conduct consultations on drafts for the National Assembly’s legislative programme and weekly agenda;
2. be informed, from time to time but not less than once a month, on the implementation of the legislative programme and on the Committees’ work on the bills and draft decisions, statemets and appeals assigned to them;
3. contribute to achieving consensus in cases of conflicts of interests between different parliamentary groups as well as on procedural and organisational matters connected with the National Assembly work;
(3) The Presidents’Council shall be convened by the President of the National Assembly on his initiative or at the request of one-third of its members.

Article 10. The Secretaries of the National Assembly shall:
1. inform the Chairperson of the Members’ attendance at sittings of the National Assembly and assist him/her in performing quorum checks;
2. when the computerised voting system is used, assist in the prevention and sanctioning of unauthorized use of other Members’ voting cards, except in cases as per article 63, paragraph 3;
3. when a vote is taken by a show of hands, i.e. without the electronic voting equipment, count the votes and report the result of the vote to the Cairperson;
4. when a vote is taken by secret ballot, render technical assistance to the ballot;
5. when a vote is taken by roll-call, call the roll;
6. verify and sign the shorthand records of sittings at which they have been on duty;
7. perform such other tasks as may be assigned to them by the Chairperson in connection with the business of the National Assembly.

Article 11. The Quaestors of the National Assembly shall:
1. follow the Chairperson’s directions for the purpose of maintaining order on the floor and in the galleries;
2. assist the Secretaries in counting the votes when voting with a show of hands is held and in the technical organisation of secret ballots, and upon voting with the computerised system, save for the cases under Art. 63, paragraph 3, assist them in preventing a vote with someone else’s card;
3. ensure that only Members of the National Assembly, Government Ministers and persons authorised by the National Assembly are present in the plenary room;
(4) follow the orders of the Chairperson for maintaining the order on the premises of the national Assembly , where the plenary sittings are held.

Chapter Four
PARLIAMENTARY GROUPS


Article 12. (1) The Members of the National Assembly may form Parliamentary Groups.
(2) The minimum number of Members of the National Assembly to form a Parliamentary Group shall be 10 (ten).
(3) If the membership of a Parliamentary Group falls below the required minimum, such Group shall cease to exist.
(4) Members of a parliamentary group which has ceased to exist become Members of Parliament not affiliated with a parliamentary group and they can’t be accepted as members of or form another parliamentary group.

Article 13. (1) Each Parliamentary Group shall submit to the President of the National Assembly the decision whereby it constituted itself and a list of its leadership and members, signed by all members thereof.
(2) The Parliamentary Groups, their leaderships and any changes therein shall be recorded in a special register of the National Assembly.
(3) The President of the National Assembly shall announce the Parliamentary Groups so registered and their leaderships at a plenary sitting. Every change in the composition of a Parliamentary Group shall be announced by the President of the National Assembly at a plenary sitting.
(4) Any permanent assistants to a Parliamentary Group shall be appointed on the Assembly’s staff. On the advice of every Parliamentary Group concerned, the number of such staff shall be approved by the President of the National Assembly in proportion of 1:10 to the number of its members, but not less than 2 for each parliamentary group.When the number of Members of the Parliamentary Group can not be divided by ten the number of assistants is determined at the higher 10 fold figure.

Article 14. (1) No Member of the National Assembly may belong to a more than one Parliamentary Group.
(2) The terms of group membership, the commencement and termination thereof, and the rights and duties of group members shall be established by the Parliamentary Group concerned and in accordance with the provisions of these Rules.
(3) A Member of the National Assembly may resign from his/her Parliamentary Group by addressing his/her resignation in writing to the leader of the Group and to the President of the National Assembly, which shall be announced at a plenary sitting.
(4) On resignation from the Parliamentary Group or on dismissal from it, the Member shall lose his/her seat in Standing Committees as a representative of the respective Parliamentary Group, in National Assembly delegations and other elected offices at the National Assembly.
(5) A parliamentary group member who has quit or has been expelled from it shall become a National Assembly Member of no membership with a parliamentary group.
(6) Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Bulgaria may also participate in the work of the Parliamentary Groups in an advisory capacity.   

Article 15. Members of Parliament who lack membership in a parliamentary group can’t establish parliamentary groups. The existing parliamentary groups can’t merge or divide.

Chapter Five
COMMITTEES OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY


Article 16. (1) The National Assembly shall elect from among its Members Standing and Ad-hoc Committees.
2) The National Assembly Standing Committees shall be the following:
1. Economic Policy and Tourism Committee;
2. Energy Committee;
3. Budget and Finance Committee;
4. Legal Affairs Committee;
5. Regional Policy, Public Works and Local Self-Government Committee;
6. Foreign Policy Committee;
7. Defense Committee
8. Internal Security and Public Order Committee;
9. Agriculture and Foods Committee;
10. Labour, Social and Demographic Policy Committee;
11. Education and Science Committee;
12. Children, Youths and Sports Committee;
13. Healthcare Committee;
14. Environment and Water Committee;
15. Transport, Information Technologies and Communications Committee;
16. Culture and Media Committee;
17. Interaction with Civil Society Organizations and Movements Committee;
18. Religious Denominations and Human Rights Committee;
19. Anti-Corruption, Conflict of Interests and Parliamentary EthicsCommittee;
20. European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds Committee;
21. Committee for Oversight of the Security Services, the Deployment of Special Surveillance Techniques and the Access of Data under the Electronic Communications Act;
22. Committee on Supervision of the State Committee on Energy and Water Regulation;
(3) The European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds Committee shall report to the National Assembly on the performance of duties assigned to the Council of Ministers to provide preliminary information about its involvement in the drafting and adoption of EU acts. The European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds Committee shall also draw up reports on other acts of the European Union institutions.
(4) The National Assembly may alter the type, number and composition of the standing committees.

Article 17. (1) The Committee for Oversight of the Security Services, Deployment of Special Surveillance Techniques and Access to Data under the Electronic Communications Act shall:
1. exercise parliamentary oversight with respect to the work of the security services;
2. formulate opinions regarding the budgets of the security services;
3. adopt, within 14 days following its election, internal rules of procedure to be endorsed by the National Assembly;
4. carry out parliamentary oversight and monitoring, as provided under the Special Surveillance Techniques Act and the Electronic Communications Act, with respect to the procedures of:
a) authorization, application and use of special surveillance techniques, the storage and disposal of data obtained thereby, as well as the protection of civil rights and liberties against illegal use of special surveillance techniques;
b) the authorization of access and actual access to data under the Electronic Communications Act as well as the protection of civil rights and liberties against illegal access to such data;
(2) On an annual basis, not later than May 31 of each year, the Committee shall submit to the National Assembly a report on its work as per paragraph 1 (4), which shall contain summarized information about:
1. the authorization, application and use of special surveillance techniques, the storage and disposal of data obtained thereby, and the protection of civil rights and liberties against illegal use of special surveillance techniques;
2. any inspections and proposals made for improvements of the procedures of storage and processing of data under the Electronic Communications Act.
(3) The President of the National Assembly shall keep the Head of State and the Prime Minister apprised of the Committee’s decisions and opinions.

Article 18. The Anti-Corruption, Conflict of Interests and Parliamentary Ethics Committee shall be formed on the principle of parity, comprising two Members of Parliament from each Parliamentary Group.

Article 19. (1) A Member of the National Assembly may be elected to two Standing Committees at most.
(2) A Member of the National Assembly may be elected Chairperson of one Standing Committee only.
(3) The President and the Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly may not be elected in the leadership of the Standing Committees.

Article 20. (1) (1) The composition of the Standing Committees shall take into account the number of members in each parliamentary group except for the Standing Committees under art. 16, paragraph 2, item 19.
 (2) The leadership of each Standing Committee shall comprise a Chairperson and up to four Deputy Chairpersons. The leadership of each Standing Committee shall organise its business on the basis of the information coming to the Committee.
(3) The leaderships and the members of the Standing Committees shall be elected on the motion of Parliamentary Groups or on the motions of individual Members of Parliament by an open vote en bloc, unless objections are raised against any of the nominees.
(4) The Committee Chairperson shall chair meetings and maintain contacts with the Chairpersons of other committees and with the National Assembly President.
(5) The Chairperson shall authorise one of his/her Deputies to chair the Committee’s meetings in his/her absence. In the absence of such an authorisation, the President of the National Assembly shall authorize one of the Deputies to chair the committee’s meeting.

Article 21. Members of the European Parliament for the Republic of Bulgaria may take part in the parliamentary committees with an advisory vote.

Article 22. (1) The Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of Standing Committees may be discharged from their duties before the expiry of their term upon:
1. a request of their own;
2. a motion of more than half of the Committee members – when they are objectively incapable of fulfilling their duties for a period of six months, or when they are systematically abusing their authority, or systematically fail to fulfil their duties.
3. a written motion submitted by the parliamentary group on whose quota they have been elected.
(2) Standing Committee Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons shall be discharged before the expiry of their term when they discontinue their membership in the Parliamentary Group on whose quota they have been elected and when the Parliamentary Group ceases to exist.
(3) Members of a Satnding Committee may be discharged from office ahead of term if:
1. they so request;
2. a motion has been filed by the Parliamentary Group on whose quota they have been elected in the Committee;
(4) In the cases under item 1 of paragraph 1, paragraph 2 and item 1 of paragraph 3 the discharge shall be accepted without a debate or vote, and under item 2 and 3 of paragraph 1 and item 2 of paragraph 3 with a decision of the National Assembly.
(5) In the cases under item 2 of paragraph , the Committee shall decide on the motion with a majority of more than one half of its members.

Article 23. (1) The Standing Committees may adopt their internal rules of organization in line with these Rules, which are to be posted on the web page of the relevant Committee within the Internet site of the National Assembly.
(2) Any costs pertinent to the work of the Standing Committees of the National Assembly shall be subject to approval by the President of the National Assembly on the proposal of Committee leaderships.

Article 24. (1) Standing Committees may form subcommittees and working groups comprised of their own members.
(2) A standing Public Sector Accountability Subcommittee shall be established under the Budget and Finance Committee.
(3) A standing Subcommittee for Monitoring the Work in the field of Consumers Protection and Restriction of Monopolies shall be formed under the Economic Policy and Tourism Committee.
(4) The Standing Committees may set up public councils, comprised of members of civil organizations to advise them.

Article 25. (1) In relation to the work of the Public Sector Accountability Subcommittee, upon request by the Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee, the first level spenders of budgetary appropriations shall prepare reports on the execution of the allocated budgets and the implementation of programmes, which shall be submitted to the subcommittee by the deadlines specified in the request. Reports on the execution of extra budgetary accounts and funds may also be debated in accordance with this procedure.
(2) The first level spender of budgetary appropriations, the President of the National Audit Office and the Minister of Finance or their deputies, as well as other persons invited by the Subcommittee Chairperson, may take part in the subcommittee meetings.
(3) After the report has been debated, the Subcommittee Chairperson shall draw up a report containing an evaluation of the budget execution, which shall be submitted to the Budget and Finance Committee and to the Members of the National Assembly.

Article 26. (1) The Standing Committees shall consider bills, the Annual Programme under Article 114 and draft resolutions, declarations and addresses as may be assigned to them by the President of the National Assembly, and shall prepare reports, make recommendations and give opinions thereon.
(2) Standing Committees shall proceed at an assessment of the implementation and effectiveness of the Acts of the National Assembly.
(3) Standing Committees shall, in compliance with their competence, exercise periodic control on the extent of absorption and on the purposeful and lawful spending of the resources from the European Union programmes and funds.
(4) Government authorities, officials from the government and municipal administration and members of the public shall be obliged to make available upon request any information and documents required for the work of the Standing Committees.
(5) The Chairperson shall be obliged, on the motion of one third of the Committee members, to address forthwith a request to the relevant government authorities and officials of the government and municipal administration to attend Committee meetings. The persons so invited shall be obliged to appear before the Committee and to present the requested information as well as to answer the questions they are asked, within 7 days from receipt of the invitation or at the first regular meeting if it falls on date following the expiry of the said 7-day period.

Article 27. (1) In the course of the last hour and a half of the meetings of the Standing Committees, on the first Wednesady and Thirsday of each month, the line ministers shall appear before the relevant committees and take verbal questions from members of the committees during the meeting itself. Questions thus asked must pertain to specific policies and may not contain requests for detailed numerical data.
(2) One Committee member from each Parliamentary Group shall have the right to two topical verbal questions on relevant issues, whereas unaffiliated Members of Parliament shall be entitled between themselves to a total of two questions.
(3) The line Minister to whom the question is addressed shall reply immediately upon taking the question . In the event of absence of a minister for valid reasons, the Committee shall, in coordination with him/her, schedule the meeting at which the minister will answer verbal questions on relevant issues.
(4) The procedure of asking topical verbal questions under paragraph 1 shall be determined in accordance with the size of the parliamentary groups in descending order, with unaffiliated Members being the last in line. Second questions shall be posed in the same order after exhausting the procedure of taking the first round of questions.
(5) The time for posing a single question shall be limited to 2 minutes. A minister’s reply to a question shall be limited to 3 minutes. The Member asking a question shall be entitled to a rejoinder of up 2 minutes, and the responding minister, to a counter-rejoinder, also of up to two minutes.

Article 28. (1) Standing Committee meetings shall be regular and extraordinary.
(2) The Committees shall determine by themselves the agenda, frequency and duration of their meetings.
(3) A Standing Committee meeting, with draft agenda, shall be convened by its Chairperson , on his/her initiative or on the request of no less than one third of its members, or by the President of the National Assembly.

Article 29. (1) The meetings of Standing Committees shall be open. Upon a committee decision its meetings shall be streamed live on the Internet page of the National Assembly.
(2) The Committees may decide to hold closed meetings.
(3) The meetings of the Committee for Oversight of the Security Services, the Deployment of Special Surveillance Techniques and the Access of Data under the Electronic Communications Act are closed.
(4) By way of exception Standing Committees may hold open meetings outside the Capital City.

Article 30. (1) Members of the public may attend Committee meetings in compliance with the National Assembly access policy and the policy established by each committee. The list of persons who have attended the meeting is a mandatory part of the meeting’s minutes.
(2) Representatives of trade unions, professional and industrial organisations may, on their initiative attend meetings of the Committee, submit opinions in writing and participate in debates on National Assembly draft acts under review, relating to the subject of activity of said organisations, in keeping with the established rules of procedure of the Committees. The list of persons , representing organisations, who had attended the meeting is inseparable part of the meeting’s minutes. The opinions shall be posted on the web page of the relevant Committee within the website of the National Assembly.
(3) Any member of a Standing Committee may invite individual natural persons or representatives of legal entities concerned with the issues under consideration to attend its meeting. The list of the invited persons is inseparable part of the meeting’s minutes.
(4) Journalists with accreditation and other journalists with access to the National Assembly may attend the open meetings of the Standing Committees.
(5) Members of the National Assembly may attend the meetings of any Standing Committee of which they are not members in a non-voting capacity.
(6) Members of the National Assembly who participate in closed Committee meetings of which they are not members, the documents and the subject matter they have become familiar with, shall be recorded in a special log to be signed by them.
(7) The participants in Committee meetings shall comply with requirements pertaining to the protection of classified information and of data as per the Personal Data Protection Act, as well as of information pertaining to the personal privacy and good standing of citizens.

Article 31. (1) Standing Committee Chairpersons shall deliver notice of the agenda, time and venue of meetings by posting such notice at special points on the premises of the Assembly or in person to Committee members concerned, to be acknowledged by signature. The agenda shall be announced not later than three days prior to the meeting including by way of publishing it on the website of the National Assembly. In the case of an extraordinary meeting, the agenda shall be announced at the same time with an announcement setting the date for such meeting.
(2) A Standing Committee’s meeting shall only be in order if more than one half of the Committee’s members are in attendance. If after the scheduled time for the  meeting a quorum is not present, the committee may meet in the available composition when it is no less than a third of all its members.
(3) The mover of a bill or any other matter under consideration by a Committee shall be entitled to a hearing at the relevant Committee meeting. Where the mover is the Council of Ministers, a Member of the Council of Ministers or a Deputy Minister shall be heard at the relevent committee meeting.
(4) Standing Committee decisions shall be made by a majority vote of the members.

Article 32. (1) Committees may hold joint meetings to discuss common issues. Such meetings shall be presided by one of the Committee Chairpersons designated by mutual consent.
(2) In joint meetings, each Committee shall make a separate decision on the matter at hand. In the case of dissent, each Committee shall submit a separate report to the National Assembly.

Article 33. (1) Standing Committees’ reports to the National Assembly shall be delivered by Committee Chairpersons or by Rapporteurs appointed by the Committees.
(2) The report shall set out the decision adopted by the Committee, the different views on the matter and the majority in support of each.
(3) Standing Committees reports from the open meetings shall be public and available under the standing procedures as well as on the National Assembly website.

Article 34. (1) Summary minutes shall be drawn up at the meetings of Standing Committees, setting out all the decisions made.
(2) Shorthand records shall be drawn up of the meetings of reporting Committees. They shall be signed by the Committee Chairperson and the stenographer and shall be published on the Committee webpage of the National Assembly Internet site within seven days after the meeting.
(3) The records of Standing Committees closed meetings shall be subject to a special procedure for safe-keeping, accounting and access in compliance with the requirements of the Classified Information Protection Act.

Article 35. (1) Select Committees shall be appointed ad hoc to investigate particular matters and to conduct enquiries.
(2) Select Committees shall be elected by the National Assembly on the motion of the President or not less than one fifth of the Members.
(3) The terms of reference, number, composition and term of office of the Select Committees shall be established by the National Assembly.
(4) The rules of procedure relating to Standing Committees shall apply also to Select Committees.
(5) Select Committees shall be dissolved as their term of office expires or earlier, by resolution of the National Assembly.

Article 36. (1) The National Assembly shall elect from among its Members the Assembly’s standing delegations to international organisations.
(2) The composition of the National Assembly’s standing delegations to international organisations shall be based on the principle of proportional representation of Parliamentary Groups.
(3) Where a parliamentary group ceases to exist its representative in the standing delegations of the National Assembly shall be dismissed.
(4) The standing delegations shall report on their activities to the President of the National Assembly.

Chapter Six
INTERACTION WITH CIVIL ORGANIZATIONS AND MOVEMENTS


Article 37. (1) The Committee on Interaction with Civil Organizations and Movements shall:
1.conduct  dialogue and interaction with representatives of organizations and movements of the civil society, including by conducting public hearings on matters of significant public interest; conduct parliamentary and civil  supervision on the activities of the state regulatory bodies through public discussions; the conclusions of the discussions shall be forwarded to the reporting committees;
2. consider proposals for referenda and citizen initiatives under the Direct Participation of Citizens in the Central and Local Government Act, as well as petitions under Article 45 of the Constitution;
3. consider complaints, signals and proposals of citizens in compliance with its internal rules;
4. perform the functions of a standing committee under the provisions of Chapter Five.

Article 38. To the Committee on Interaction with Civil Organizations and Movements shall be established a Public Council comprising representatives of civil society organizations and movements to advise the Committee. The composition and method of Council formation shall be determined by rules to be adopted by the Committee. The rules shall be published on the Committee webpage within the Internet site of the National Assembly.

Article 39. (1) The Committee on Interaction with Civil Organizations and Movements shall operate under its internal rules of procedure adopted in accordance with these Rules. The rules shall specify the manner of interaction with civil society organizations and movements.
(2) The Committee meetings shall be livestreamed on the Internet through the website of the National Assembly.
(3) At the end of each session, the Committee shall submit to the National Assembly a report containing analysis and opinion on the issues raised by the representatives of civil society organizations and movements. The report shall be considered in plenary.

Article 40. . Representatives of civil society organizations and movements have the right on their own initiative to attend committee meetings, to submit written opinions and take part in the discussion of bills under consideration by the National Assembly, referring to the subject of their activities, upon observing the rules of procedure established in the committees.

Article 41. (1) Civil organizations and movements may submit written opinions on the draft legislation under consideration by the reporting committees.
(2) The report of the responsible committee for the first reading shall contain a summary of the opinions submitted by civil society organizations and movements.
(3) The Chairperson of the reporting committee may request civil society organizations and movements to provide their written opinion on the proposals submitted by Members of the National Assembly for the second reading.
(4) The opinions of civil society organizations and movements shall be published on the Committee webpage at the National Assembly Internet site and shall be distributed to committee members.
(5) The Committee shall respond to the filed proposals and complaints by civil society organizations and movements.

Article 42. Civil organizations and movements may participate, through a Member  of the National Assembly, in parliamentary oversight under the terms and conditions of Chapter Nine, as well as attend meetings of parliamentary committees conducting hearings in accordance with Chapter Ten and replies to relevant verbal questions pursuant to Article 27 in compliance with the National Assembly access policy. The list of the persons who were present is inseparable part of the meeting’s minutes.


Chapter Seven
SESSIONS AND SITTINGS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY


Article 43. (1) The National Assembly shall sit in three sessions per annum.
(2) The National Assembly shall be in recess from 22nd December until January 10th, for 10 days during the Easter Holidays, and from 1st till August 31st, each year.
(3) As an exception, the National Assembly may set recess dates other than the above.
(4) During periods of recess the time limits under these Rules shall be suspended.

Article 44. (1) The National Assembly shall be convened to a session by its President.
(2) In the cases under Article 78, items 2, 3 and 4 of the Constitution the President shall schedule a sitting not later than seven days following the date of the motion, irrespective of whether the National Assembly is in recess or not.
(3) The authors of the motion under Article 78 of the Constitution shall be obligated to specify the agenda for the sitting.

Article 45. (1) The regular plenary sittings of the National Assembly shall be on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The time of the sittings may be extended, if the Assembly so decides.
(2) The National Assembly may change the hours of regular sittings.
(3) The National Assembly may decide to hold unscheduled sittings, other than those under paragraph 1, during a session, the agenda of which should be announced in advance. Extraordinary sittings may be held at any time in case of an emergency.

Article 46. The sittings of the National Assembly shall be open.
(2) A person who is not a Member of the National Assembly or a Government Minister may attend sittings, should the National Assembly decide so, and in accordance with rules laid down by the President, taking specially assigned seats. During sittings they must observe the established order and may take the floor only by invitation of the President.
(3) Should there occur disorder among the audience, the President shall restore order through the quaestors and may direct some or all members of the public to be removed.

Article 47. (1) The sittings of the National Assembly shall be closed when:
1. important interests of the state so require;
2. documents are discussed that are classified by virtue of the Classified Information Protection Act.
(2) A motion on a closed sitting may be brought forward by the President of the National Assembly, one tenth of the Members or the Council of Ministers.
(3) When such motion is brought forward, the President shall invite the audience to leave the plenary room and the galleries as well as that live broadcasting of the media is stopped. Having heard the mover’s motives, the Assembly shall debate and take a vote on the motion. The sitting shall proceed as open or closed depending on the result of the vote.
(4) The deliberations and the records of closed sittings shall constitute classified information with the relevant obligations binding all Members of the National Assembly and any other persons allowed access thereto.
(5) Resolutions adopted at closed sittings shall be made public.

Article 48. (1) The open sittings of the National Assembly shall be broadcast live by the Bulgarian National Radio on a special frequency covering the entire national territory, and shall be covered also by televised reports of the Bulgarian National TV, as well as by the special parliamentary TV channel. The signal is available free of charge. The open sittings of the National Assembly shall be livestreamed through its Internet site.
(2) Live radio and television coverage of sittings shall be subject to a resolution of the Assembly.
(3) Plenary sittings dedicated to parliamentary oversight shall be broadcast live by the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National TV.

Article 49. (1) The President shall open a sitting if more than one half of the Members of the National Assembly are in attendance.
(2) The availability of a quorum shall be ascertained through the computerised voting system before the opening of the sitting.
(3) The President may in connection with an impending vote, at his/her discretion, or only once per sitting, on the request by a parliamentary group, check the availability of a quorum through a roll call or through a head count of the Members of the National Assembly by the National Assembly Secretaries.
(4) When the check under paragraph 3 finds that the sitting lacks the necessary quorum the President shall either continue, adjourn or suspend the sitting for a certain amount of time, until quorum is reached. In cases when the sitting lacking quorum is continued only parliamentary oversight shall be held but no votings and acts shall be adopted. In case of suspension, the President may resume the sitting no later than one hour, within business hours, where the required quorum is present following a new inspection.

Article 50. (1) On the motion of the President and after the consultations pursuant to Article 9, paragraph 2, item 1, the National Assembly shall adopt a weekly or fortnightly programme of business. In drafting of such programmes, and in other matters relating to parliamentary proceedings, the President of the National Assembly shall be assisted by the Vice-Presidents.
(2) At the end of each sitting, the President shall announce the date and hour of the next sitting and its agenda according to the adopted weekly or fortnightly programme.
(3) Motions coming from Parliamentary Groups or individual representaives for items to be included in the programme to be adopted may be submitted in writing to the President of the National Assembly not later than 6:00 p.m. on the day preceding the sitting at which the programme is to be put to the vote. Any Member of the National Assembly shall be entitled to propose one item on the agenda in the event of a weekly programme and up to two items in the event of a fortnightly programme. Bills and other draft acts of the National Assembly on which no reports have been submitted but the deadlines under article 74, paragraph 3 and article 84, paragraph 3 have expired may also be moved as items to be included on the forthcoming programme.
(4) The draft programme under paragraph 1 above, proposed by the President, and any motions under paragraph 3 above, shall be put to the vote, without a debate, at the start of the plenay sitting where a weekly or fortnightly programme is to be adopted. No spoken motions shall be allowed.
(5) In exceptional cases, the President may propose a change in the agenda at the beginning of a sitting.
(6) Matters not included in the agenda shall not be debated.
(7) Proposals to pay respect by holding a minute of silence shall be accepted only after being submitted in writing in the Office of the National Assembly by 6.00 pm on the day preceding the plenary sitting, except in extraordinary cases.
(8) The bills and draft resolutions to be included in the agenda of the regular sitting held on the first Wednesday of every month shall be tabled by Parliamentary Groups. Proposals shall be submitted to the President of the National Assembly not later than 6:00 p.m. on the previous day. Each Parliamentary Group shall have the right to propose one item of the agenda. The items shall be arranged on the agenda according to the Parliamentary Group size. Each subsequent month, the item proposals shall be arranged on a rotation basis. The National Assembly must consider the substance of the proposals brought forward. If none of the Parliamentary Groups has made a proposal, the Assembly shall proceed with the programme adopted under paragraph 1. Bills and draft decisions of the National Assembly on which no reports have been submitted but the time limits under article 75(3) and article 85(3) have expired may also be proposed as items to the agenda.
(9) The adopted programme shall be published after the vote on the Internet site of the National Assembly and in case of subsequent changes to it voted by the Members the webpage shall be immediately updated.      

Article 51. (1) The President shall preside at sittings and give the floor to the Members.
(2) No Member of the National Assembly shall speak unless and until called to the rostrum by the President.
(3) Any Member of the National Assembly may request the floor by raising a hand, while remaining seated, or by addressing an advance written request to the President.
(4) The President shall compile a list of speakers and shall determine the speaking  order depending on:
1. the sequence proposed by the leaderships of the Parliamentary Groups on whose behalf the speakers request the floor, and alternating between representatives of different Parliamentary Groups;
2. the order of requests.
(5) The Presidentshall recognise the Leaders of Parliamentary Groups or, in their absence, their deputies or duly authorised substitutes, upon request during the debate on the matter at hand and within the time limit allotted to each Group.
(6) Once in each sitting the President shall recognise the Leaders of Parliamentary Groups, their substitutes or a Member of the National Assembly, authorised by them upon request, to speak on any matter outside the agenda under debate for a maximum of 10 minutes.

Article 52. (1) Members of the National Assembly raising a point of order shall be recognised immediately, unless preceded by any request for a rejoinder, counter -rejoinder or justification of a nay vote.
(2) Points of order are objections to a particular breach of the order of business, as stipulated by these Rules, or motions to amend or supplement the adopted course of proceedings, including such as:
1. to adjourn the sitting;
2. to suspend the sitting;
3. to close a debate;
4. to suspend a debate;
5. to postpone a vote.
(3) The speaker on a point of order shall speak for not more than two minutes, and not in any case on the substance of the matter at hand.
(4) Where the point of order relates to the manner of conducting the sitting, the President shall have the right of up to 2 minutes for justification.

Article 53 (1) Members of the National Assembly shall only speak from the rostrum.
(2) In cases where members of the National Assembly have physical disabilities, preventing them from gaining access tothe rostrum, they shall speak from their seats, all necessary technical facilities shall be made immediately available to them.

Article 54. (1) Should a speaker digress from the matter at hand, the President shall call him/her to order, and if the speaker persists, the President shall rule him/her out of order.
(2) No Member of the National Assembly may speak more than once on the substance of the same matter.

Article 55. (1) The President shall set the time limit for debate on each item on the agenda and the date and hour of the vote thereon. The time for debate shall be alloted among the Parliamentary Groups in proportion to their size, but can be no less than 15 minutes for the smallest and no less than 30 minutes for the largest Parliamentary Group. A total of 10 minutes speaking time, or 5 minutes per person, shall be allotted to unaffiliated Members of Parliament.
(2) Any Parliamentary Group may request an extension of its speaking time under paragraph 1 above, but by no more than one third thereof. The other Parliamentary Groups shall have the right to a proportionate extension of the time allotted to them respectively.
(3) The Parliamentary Group time under paragraph 1 above shall comprise the:
1. total time taken up by speakers from the Group;
2. time taken up by Leader of the Group;
3. time taken up by speakers from the Group for rejoinders and for raising points of order, except for matters referring to the manner of conducting proceedings.
(4) Up to three Members of the National Assembly may be recognised to express opinions dissenting from those of the Parliamentary Group to which they belong. The speaking time of a Member of the National Assembly shall be not more than 3 minutes.
(5) If a speaker exceeds the time allotted in pursuance of paragraphs 1 to 4, the President, having called him/her to order, shall rule such speaker out of order.
(6) The procedure laid down in the above paragraphs 1 to 5 shall not apply to debates on bills tabled for a second vote.

Article 56. (1) Members of the National Assembly shall have the right of reply.
(2) A reply is a short objection to the substance of a preceding speech. It shall be made immediately after the speech in question and shall be limited to two minutes.
(3) Not more than three replies may be made to the same speech.
(4) The speaker who has been replied to shall have the right of rejoinder, limited to three minutes, after all replies have been made.

Article 57. (1) Members of the National Assembly shall have the right of personal explanation, limited to 2 minutes, where a Member is concerned, personally or by name, in another’s speech.
(2) Members of the National Assembly shall have the right to explanation of a negative vote, limited to two minutes, immediately after the vote.
(3) The right to explanation of a negative vote shall be restricted to Members of the National Assembly who have not expressed the same negative position, or have not spoken at all, during the debate.
(4) No more than three Members of the National Assembly may be recognised to explain their negative votes.
(5) No explanations of negative vote shall be allowed after a secret ballot or a vote on a point of order.

Article 58. After the list of speakers has been exhausted or representatives of all Parliamentary Groups have spoken according to the time allotment under Article 55, and no requests have been made for time extension, the Chairperson shall close the debate.

Article 59. (1) On a motion concerning a point of order one Member of the National Assembly shall be recognised to raise an objection. Thereafter, the motion shall be put to a vote immediately without a debate.
(2) The right under paragraph 1 may not prejudice rights of Parliamentary Groups under Article 55, paragraph 1.

Article 60. (1) A sitting may be adjourned or suspended by a decision of the National Assembly on the motion of the President or of a Parliamentary Group.
(2) Where a motion is brought forward to adjourn the sitting and another, to suspend the sitting, the motion to adjourn shall be put to the vote first.

Article 61. (1) Where the transaction of business is disrupted by noise or disorder, or where dictated by other important reasons, the President may suspend the sitting.
(2) Any Parliamentary Group may request, once per sitting, that a sitting be suspended for not longer than thirty minutes. The President shall grant such request immediately and set the duration of the suspension, which may not be less than 15 minutes. No such requests shall be allowed within one hour from the opening of a sitting, or within one hour before the closing thereof as scheduled. The interval between two successive interruptions may not be shorter than one hour.

Article 62. Members of the Council of Ministers shall be entitled to attend the sittings of the National Assembly. They shall be recognised to speak whenever they so request. The President of the National Assembly may set the speaking time Ministers use for a specific issue.

Article 63. (1) Voting shall be in person. Votes may be ‘for’, ‘against’, or abstention. Voting shall be open. The National Assembly may decide a certain vote to be secret.
(2) Open votes shall be taken by any of the following:
1. the computerised voting system;
2. show of hands;
3. roll-call, calling the names of Members of the National Assembly with replies of ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘abstained’;
4. signatures lsid in person; or
5. roll-call, using the electronic system whereby the Members’ names and votes are shown on screen through the computerized voting system.
(3) The computerized voting system uses the biometric data of every individual Member of the National Assembly or is activated by the biometric data of every individual Member of the National Assembly.
(4) Secret votes shall be taken by ballot papers.

Article 64. Any Parliamentary Group or not less than one tenth of all Members of the National Assembly may propose the vote to be performed under Article 63, paragraph 2, items 3, 4 and 5 or to be secret. Such motion shall be put to the vote without a debate. One Member of each Parliamentary Groups objecting to such a motion shall be recognised.

Article 65. (1) Before taking the vote the President shall invite Members to take their seats. Voting time for the purposes of Article 63, paragraph 2, item 1 shall be limited to 30 seconds, but not less than 15 seconds.
(2) From the announcement of the vote until its completion, no Member of the National Assembly may be recognised to speak.

Article 66. (1) Matters shall be put to the vote in the following order:
1. motions to reject;
2. motions to defer to a subsequent sitting;
3. motions to substitute;
4. motions to amend or alter a text;
5. text under debate, including editorial changes and amendments already passed;
6. motions to supplement;
7. the core motion.
(2) Any two or more motions of the same nature shall be put to the vote in the order of their submission.

Article 67. (1) A motion shall be deemed carried if more than one half of the Members of the National Assembly in attendance have voted in favor, unless otherwise provided by the Constitution.
(2) If the votes are tied, the motion shall be deemed rejected.

Article 68. (1) The result of the vote shall be announced by the President immediately.
(2) Should the voting procedure or the result thereof be disputed by a Parliamentary Group immediately after the vote, the President may order the vote to be repeated. The result of such second vote shall be final.
(3) Where a vote is taken by the computerised voting system, printouts of the results may be made available to Parliamentary Group leaderships on request.

Article 69. The Chairperson may announce at the end of the plenary sitting the date and time for the vote on bills and other draft acts of the National Assembly included on the agenda on which the debates have been concluded.

Article 70. (1) Full shorthand records shall be drawn up of the sittings of the National Assembly on the day of the sitting or on the following day at the latest. Each record shall be signed by the stenographers, by the two Secretaries on duty and by the President of the National Assembly not later than the week following its production.
(2) Attached to the shorthand record shall be the explanatory memorandum and text of bills, resolutions, and other enactments of the National Assembly, and any proposed amendments thereto, whether read out or not on the floor, and the printouts of voting results from the computerised system.
(3) The records of open plenary sittings and printouts of voting results from the computerized system shall be published within 7 days on the website of the National Assembly.

Article 71. Any Member of the National Assembly may review the shorthand record of his speeches and demand the rectification of errors therein within three days following the drawing up of the record. Any related dispute shall be settled by the President on the report of the Secretaries on duty and the stenographer concerned in the presence of the Member concerned.

Article 72. (1) Any errors of fact in the enactments of the National Assembly prior to their promulgarion in the State Gazette shall be amended on the instructions of the President of the National Assembly subject to writtent request by the Rapporteur of the Committee concerned and coordination with the mover, or solely upon instructions of the President.
(2) The President of the National Assembly shall inform the members of the corrections pursuant to paragraph 1 .
(3) Corrections of errors of fact in promulgated acts of the National Assembly shall be made solely on the instructions of  the President of the National Assembly.
(4) The President of the National Assembly shall announce the above corrections of errors at the first plenary sitting, following their detection.
(5) When the correction of error under paragraph 3 above concerns a promulgated law, the President of the National Assembly informs also the President of the Republic of Bulgaria.


Chapter Eight
INTRODUCTION, CONSIDERATION AND PASSAGE OF BILLS AND OTHER ACTS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY


Article 73. (1) Bills and explanatory memorandum thereto shall be addressed to the President of the National Assembly electronically and on paper and shall be entered forthwith in a special public register “Bills”.
(2) In the explanatory memorandum the mover of the bill shall state his opinion about the expected impact of the bill’s application, including financial one.
(3) Explanatory memoranda for bills pertaining to the membership of the Republic of Bulgaria in the European Union shall specify the relevant parts of EU law requiring the respective regulation to be introduced.

Article 74. (1) The President of the National Assembly shall assign the bills among the Standing Committees within three days following their submission.
(2) The President of the National Assembly shall designate one Standing Committee to be the main Rapporteur on each bill.
(3) Each week, at the first sitting, the President shall announce the newly submitted bills, if any, and their movers and the Committees they have been assigned to.
(4) Objections to the Committee assignments may be raised with the President of the National Assembly by the bill’s mover and the Standing Committees concerned within 7 days of the announcement in pursuance of paragraph 3 above. The President shall rule on such objections within two days.

Article 75. (1) Standing Committees shall consider bills not earlier than 24 hours and not later than three weeks after the receipt thereof by Committee members. Standing Committees shall submit to the President of the National Assembly and to the Chairperson of the main Rapporteur Committee substantiated opinions on the bills within such time limits as required by the Assembly’s legislative programme or the current weekly or fortnightly programme of business.
(2) Upon consideration of the bill at first reading, the main Rapporteur Committee before discussing in substance shall assess its compliance with the requirements of the Statutory Instruments Act and the ordinance for its application and in the presence of inconsistencies may advise the importer to bring it in consistence within 7 days.
(3) Reports on the bills shall be presented to the National Assembly by the main Rapporteur Committees for the first vote not later than two months of their submission and shall be published on the Committee webpage of National Assembly Internet site.

Article 76. (1) The bills, accompanied by the explanatory memorandum thereto and the report of the main Rapporteur Committee, shall be made available to the Members of the National Assembly not later than 24 hours before the commencement of the sitting at which the bills are to be considered. The same term shall apply to the consideration of the bill at second reading, unless the National Assembly decides otherwise.
(2) The Chairperson of the main Rapporteur Committee may request, in respect of bills introduced by individual Members, the opinion of the Council of Ministers or the Minister of the respective sector. The Council of Ministers or the respective Minister shall offer opinion within two weeks of the request.
(3) The Chairperson of the main Rapporteur Committee may request the opinion of the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation in respect of bills regulating labor or social security relations.
(4) On bills governing the rights of persons with disabilities, the Chairperson of the main Rapporteur Committee shall request the opinion by the National Council for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities.
(5) Citizens may submit written comments on bills.
(6) Opinions under paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and 5 shall be published on the Rapporteur Committee webpage of the National Assembly Internet site and distributed to the Committee members.
(7) The lack of opinions under the preceding paragraph 2, 3, 4 and 5 shall not impede deliberations on any bill.
(8) The report of the main Rapporteur Committee for the first reading shall contain opinion on the expected consequences, including financial, of the execution of the future law and a summary of the proposals received from interested non-governmental organisations and a summary opinion of the Committee.
(9) The report of the Rapporteur Committee prepared before the first reading of the bill contains assessment of the possible impact of the expected implications, including financial ones, of the implementation of the future law, a summary of the submitted opinions thereon and the overall opinion of the Committee.

Article 77. (1) Bills shall be put to the vote twice at two separate sittings.
(2) As an exception, the National Assembly may decide to take both votes at the same sitting. This provision shall be applicable only if during the bill’s consideration no amendments or supplements to the bill have been made.
(3) A bill shall be considered at first reading after the National Assembly has heard the report of the main Rapporteur Committee, the mover’s opinion, which shall take no more than 10 minutes, and the reports, if any, of any other Standing Committees to which the bill has been assigned.The reports and the opinions of the other committees could be presented in summary.
(4) For the purposes of the first vote the bill shall be debated in principle and in its entirety. The Members of the National Assembly shall debate on the bills' main provisions.

Article 78. (1) Standing Committees shall consider simultaneously all bills, concerning the substance of the same matter, introduced before the National Assembly by the date on which the main Rapporteur Committee shall initiate the debate thereon. The Assembly shall consider all such bills simultaneously and each shall be put to the vote separately.
(2) Where more than one bill concerning the substance of the same matter has passed the first vote, the main Rapporteur Committee shall, within fourteen days, consolidate such bills into a single bill to be introduced before the President of the National Assembly and the Members for proposals in writing.

Article 79. A bill which has been rejected at the first reading may be re-introduced only following substantial amendments to its main provisions, which shall be reflected in the explanatory memorandum thereto, and not earlier than 3 months after its rejection.

Article 80. (1) Members of the National Assembly may propose amendments and addenda in writing to a bill that has past the first vote or to the new bill dressed, pursuant to Article 78, paragraph 2, within seven days of passing the bill or its introduction before the President of the National Assembly, respectively. Such proposals shall be brought forward through the President of the National Assembly, before the Chairperson of the main Rapporteur Committee. As a matter of exception, the Assembly may resolve to extend the above period by not more than three weeks or to reduce it, but to no less than three days.
(2) The draft report for the second reading of a bill shall be published on the Internet site of the National Assembly not later than 1 day  after the expiration of the term set in paragraph 1 above.
(3) The Chairperson of the Rapporteur Committee may ask for the opinion of the Council of Ministers or the respective Minister concerning the proposals moved by the members of the parliament.
(4) Within fourteen days following the expiry of the period under the paragraph 1, the main Rapporteur Committee shall introduce before the Assembly a substantiated report setting out:
1. any written proposals made within the period under paragraph 1, together with the Committee’s opinion thereon;
2. the Committee’s proposals concerning the bill under consideration, where the Committee had adopted such proposals upon a motion by any of its members during a sitting of the Committee.
(5) The report under paragraph 4 shall be published on the main Rapporteur Committee webpage of the National Assembly Internet site.

Article 81. (1) For the purposes of the second vote the National Assembly shall debate on bills chapter-by-chapter, section-by-section or paragraph-by-paragraph. Where no written proposals or objections have been made, the relevant texts shall not be read out in the plenary room. Texts shall in this case be appended to the shorthand record and shall form part thereof.
(2) For the purposes of the second vote only proposals brought forward by Members in writing in pursuance of Article 80 shall be considered, together with any proposals by the main Rapporteur Committee included in its report. Drafting amendments shall be allowed as well. No proposals inconsistent with the principles and scope of the bill as first voted and passed shall be considered or put to the vote.
(3) Any Member may substantiate proposals before the House, within a time limit of five minutes for each such proposal.
(4) The vote shall be taken as set out in Article 66. No speeches and new motions shall be admissible during voting. Only motions of Members of the National Assembly submitted under the procedure of Article 80, motions by the main Rapporteur Committee, drafting amendments made in the course of the debate as well as motions on deleting or postponing a text shall be voted on.
(5) When while reading the bill in the plenary room at the second reading, the reporter reads a text with content different from the one proposed in the report of the Rapporteur Committee, without adopting a drafting amendment beforehand in compliance with the rules, put to the vote shall be the text laid down in the report of the Rapporteur Committee.

Article 82. The mover of a bill may withdraw it before the commencement of the first vote or, subject to the decision of the National Assembly, thereafter.

Article 83. (1) The President shall announce, at the first sitting, the receipt of any presidential decree pursuant to Article 101 of the Constitution whereby an Act of the National Assembly is returned for further consideration.
(2) Within three days of the receipt of such a decree, the President of the National Assembly shall direct the original main Rapporteur Committee to report on the decree and the motives thereof before the Members.
(3) Any Act returned for further consideration shall be placed on the agenda of the National Assembly within fifteen days of the receipt of the decree.
(4) The Act so returned shall pass again by the majority vote of all the Members of the National Assembly.
(5) If the Act so returned does not receive the required majority and has been contested in principle, it shall be subject to a new consideration under the procedure for considering and adopting bills.
(6) If the Act so returned does not receive the required majority and has only been contested in terms of particular provisions, the procedure laid down in Article 80 shall apply and only such contested provisions shall be put to the vote.

Article 84. In the case of any ratification bill of an international treaty, the text of such treaty may not be amended. Reservations to a multilateral treaty may only be made where allowed by the said treaty.

Article 85. (1) Draft resolutions, declarations and addresses may be tabled for debate by any Member or any Parliamentary Group.
(2) Draft resolutions, declarations and addresses shall be assigned by the President of the National Assembly among Standing Committees within three days of receipt; the President shall notify Members thereof in accordance with Article 73, paragraph 3.
(3) The Standing Committees shall consider the drafts under paragraph 1 not later than fifteen days following their assignment and shall submit their positions on such drafts to the President of the National Assembly.
(4) Resolutions, declarations and addresses shall be passed by a single vote.
(5) Any draft resolution, declaration and address may be withdrawn by the mover before it is put to the vote at a sitting of the National Assembly.

Article 86. Draft resolutions on procedural, organisational and technical matters shall not be assigned to standing committees unless the President of the National Assembly decides otherwise.

Article 87. (1) The reports under Article 84, items 16 and 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria shall contain account of the body in charge of the implementation of the law during the relevant period, the problems and difficulties encountered, including those concerning fulfilement of the recommendations made by the National Assembly during the discussions of the previous report.
(2) Said reports are moved to the National Assembly by March 31st, so far as no legal term requires otherwise.
(3) The reports under art. 84, items 16 and 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria shall be assigned by the President of the National Assembly to the respective standing committee within three days after their receipt of which he/she shall notify the Members of the National Assembly under the procedure of Article 74, paragraph 3.
(4) The Standing Committee shall debate the report under paragraph 1 within 15 days after the assignment and shall present its opinion to the President of the National Assembly proposing also a draft resolution on the report. The draft resolution may also contain recommendations to the body whose activity has been put to debate.
(5) The report under paragraph 1 shall be included in the National Assembly agenda within one month after its submission and put for consideration not later than in 3 months.
(6) The report under paragraph 1 shall be debated after the National Assembly has heard the opinion of the committee and the statement of the mover each delivered within ten minutes time. The debate shall continue with speeches by Members of the National Assembly which may contain also questions to the mover who shall be obliged to respond to them.
(7) In the course of the debate of the report under paragraph 1 the Members of the National Assembly may move amendments and supplements to the draft resolution proposed by the committee.
(8) The mover expresses his/her position on the received proposals and recommendations.
(9) Motions of the Members of the National Assembly pursuant to paragraph 7 shall be voted upon under the procedure of Article 66.
(10) A resolution shall be adopted on the report. The National Assembly may accept or reject the report of the mover under art. 84, item 17 of the Constitution. When the report is rejected, the National Assembly motivates its decision.

Article 88. (1) The National Assembly may ask the body under art. 84, item 17 of the Constitution to present a report on different issues of its activity, on proposal of the competent standing committee or on proposal of one fifth of the Members of the National Assembly.
(2) As for the cases under the above paragraph 1, the National Assembly determines the issues, the period of time to be covered by the report and the term in which it has to be delivered.
(3) The debate on the report is held under the procedure of art. 87.

Article 89. (1) The National Assembly elects, in accordance with applicable law, wholly or partly, authorities after carrying out a public procedure.
(2) Proposals for nominations shall be accompanied by the CV and the documents of the person proposed, the requirements for eligibility, experience, education and other necessary documents and shall be published on the Internet site of the National Assembly, not later than forteen days before the hearing of the nominee, and by protecting the data as per the Personal Data Protection Act.
(3) Non-profit legal entities for public benefit and professional organisations may present to the hearing committee opinions about the candidate not later than three days before the hearing, including questions they would ask to be answered. The mass media may forward questions to be answered by the candidate. Anonymous opinions and signals shall not be considered. The opinions received shall be published on the Internet site of the National Assembly within three days after their receipt by protecting the data as per the Personal Data Protection Act.
(4) The nominations are reviewed by a standing committee of the National Assembly which holds hearings of the nominees who comply with the requirements of the law and writes a report summarizing the resulta of the hearings. The hearings are public.
(5) The report under paragraph 4 contains the conclusions of the committee as to whether the candidates meet the minimum requirements of the law for the position as well as information casting shadow over the moral qualities of the candidate, his/her competence, qualifications, experience and professional skills.
The report shall also notice the specific experience, motivation and support for the candidate on the part of the public and the competent authority.
(6) The report under paragraph 4 shall be distributed among the Members of Parliament before the beginning of the sitting on which the voting for the candidates is to be held and is published on the Internet site of the National Assembly.
(7) The National Assembly shall adopt procedural rules for the terms and conditions of proposing nominations, presentation and public disclosure of documents and hearings of candidates in the relevant committee, and the procedure for their election by the National Assembly. The rules shall be drafted and submitted to the National Assembly by the Standing Committee competent for each election.

Article 90. (1) Where the Constitutional Court rules the National Assembly a party to a constitutional case brought against an Act or resolution thereof, the President of the National Assembly shall notify immediately the main Rapporteur Committee concerned forthwith.
(2) Within 14 days of such notice the said Committee may adopt an opinion to the Constitutional Court. In this case the opinion shall mandatorily set out the grounds on which the Assembly has passed the act that has been contested before the Constitutional Court.
(3) The President of the National Assembly shall send it to the Constitutional Court.
(4) Where the Constitutional Court proclaims a separate Act of the National Assembly or part thereof as unconstitutional, the National Assembly shall settle for any legal effects that have occurred in the meantime within two months of the entry into force of the judgement.

Chapter Nine
PARLIAMENTARY OVERSIGHT


Article 91. (1) Members of the National Assembly may address to the Prime Minister, any of the Deputy Prime Ministers or any of the Ministers questions of topical nature and public interest and falling within their respective area of executive powers or pertaining to the operations of the administration they are heading.
(2) The Prime Minister shall be addressed with questions that concern the activities of the Government.

Article 92. (1) Such questions shall be addressed in writing through the President of the National Assembly not later than 48 hours before the commencement of the sitting at which the Ministers shall be called upon to answer. Questions need to be precisely and clearly formulated; they must nit contain personal invectives and insulting statements and be signed by the interpellant Member. When a Member asks a question that summarises issues raised at meetings with, and demands of, civil organizations and members of the public, this may be noted in the written question. Answers may be spoken or written. Answers shall be provided in writing only if the asking Member has explicitly requested that or when the question concerns personal rights or interests. Written answers shall be provided within seven days. A Member of the National Assembly who has addressed a question with an oral answer may request in writing a change of the type of reply into a written one until 6:00 p.m. on the day preceding the day of the sitting at which the answer is due. The time-limit for the written answer shall be seven days after the request for change and shall not be postponed by the Minister. Such questions and their answers shall be submitted on paper and electronic copy and shall be immediately recorded in a public register "Parliamentary Control" and published on the website of the National Assembly in the "Parliamentary Control" section.
(2) The President of the National Assembly shall notify immediately the Council of Ministers, the Deputy Prime Ministers or the Ministers respectively, of any such questions and of the date and time of the sitting at which an answer shall be due.
(3) The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister or the Minister concerned, may request that the answer be postponed but by no more than seven days following the term specified in paragraph 1.
(4) Where the Member who has addressed the question is not present at the sitting due to valid reasons, the answer shall be postponed. Absence for valid reasons shall be certified by a letter of the Member concerned to the President of the National Assembly submitted not later than 6:00 p.m. on the day prior to parliamentary control.
(5) When a written answer is received to a question, the President shall announce the fact at the next sitting of the Assembly following such receipt and shall deliver a copy of such answer to the Member concerned. Questions for written answer as well as the written answers themselves shall be attached to the shorthand record of the sitting.
(6) Members of the National Assembly may withdraw their questions in writing until 6:00 p.m. of the day preceding the day of the sitting on parliamentary control. The President of the National Assembly shall notify the Minister concerned accordingly.
(7) Where the parliamentary groups have exercised their right under Article 51, paragraph 6 the time on parliamentary control shall be extended by the same (equal) time limit.

Article 93. (1) Member of the National Assembly may address questions to be answered verbally in conformity with article 103, paragraph 1.
(2) The presentation of any single question shall be limited to 2 minutes.
(3) The answer given by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister or the Minister concerned shall be limited to 3 minutes. The Member who has asked a question shall have the right of reply within up to 2 minutes time, and the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister or the Minister shall have the right of rejoinder, also within 2 minutes.

Article 94. (1) Members of the National Assembly shall have the right to address enquiries to the Prime Minister, any of the Deputy Prime Ministers or any of the Ministers.
(2) Such enquiries must relate to the main aspects of activity of the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, or the administrations of which they are in charge.
(3) The Prime Minister shall be addressed with enquiries that concern the general policies of the Government.
(4) Member of the National Assembly may address enquiries to be answered verbally in conformity with article 103, paragraph 1.

Article 95. (1) Enquiries shall be answered within fourteen days of being filed. The answer may be spoken or written. A written answer must be provided if the Member of the National Assembly addressing the enquiry has expressly so requested. A Member of the National Assembly who has addressed an enquiry with an oral answer may request in writing a change of the type of reply into a written one until 6:00 p.m. on the day preceding the day of the sitting on parliamentary control. The time-limit for the written answer shall be seven days after the request for change and shall not be postponed by the Minister.The enquiries received and the answers to them shall be submitted on paper and elecronic copy, shall be immediately registered in a public register “Parliamentary Control” and shall be published on the website of the National Assembly, in the  “Parliamentary Control” section.
(2) The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister or the Minister concerned, may request an extension of the above period, but by no more than seven days following the term specified in paragraph 1.

Article 96. Enquiries shall be addressed in writing, and signed by the Member concerned, through the President of the National Assembly. Enquiries must be formulated clearly and accurately, and must not contain any personal invectives and insulting statements.

Article 97. (1) The President shall announce submitted enquiries at each sitting dedicated to parliamentary control.
(2) The President of the National Assembly shall give due notice of such enquiries to the Prime Minister, the respective Deputy Prime Minister or Minister, and of the date and hour of the sitting at which they shall be called upon to answer.
(3) The reply to an enquiry shall be deffered if the asking Member of the National Assembly is absent from the sitting for a valid reason. Absence for valid reasons shall be substantiated by a letter of the Member concerned to the President of the National Assembly submitted not later than 6:00 p.m. on the day preceding the scheduled parliamentary control sitting.

Article 98. Members of the National Assembly may withdraw their enquiries in writing until 6:00 p.m. on the day prior to the day of parliamentary control, whereof the President shall inform the National Assembly at the beginning of the sitting on parliamentary control and shall notify the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or Minister concerned.

Article 99. (1) When the National Assembly proceeds to considering an enquiry, the enquiring Member of the National Assembly may elaborate such enquiry from the platform within a time limit of 3 minutes. The reply to the enquiry shall be limited to 5 minutes.
(2) After the answer, the enquiring Member of the National Assembly shall have the right of seeking further clarification by not more than two supplementary questions presented within a total time limit of 2 minutes, and the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or Minister shall answer within 3 minutes. Where the answer is provided in writing, no such further questions shall be allowed.
(3) No debate shall be held and no replies shall be allowed in the course of answering an enquiry. The enquiring Member shall have the right to express his opinion on the answer within a time limit of 2 minutes. Replies on part of the enquired Minister shall not be allowed on any grounds.

Article 100. (1) Where a written answer to an enquiry has been received, the President shall announce the fact at the following sitting of the National Assembly dedicated to parliamentary control and shall hand a copy of such answer to the enquiring Member.
(2) Enquiries requiring a written answer and the written answers thereto shall be attached to the shorthand records.

Article 101. (1) On the motion of not less than one fifth of the Members of the National Assembly, a debate shall be opened on an enquiry and a resolution shall be voted. Such motions for debate together with a draft resolution shall be brought before the President of the National Assembly until completion of the plenary sitting.
(2) The debate shall be scheduled for the following sitting dedicated to parliamentary control. After the President has scheduled the debate the Members of the National Assembly shall not be entitled to withdraw their signatures from the motion. The debate shall be held in the presence of the Minister concerned, following the order laid down in Chapter Seven herein and shall be limited to one hour. The time for debate shall be distributed among Parliamentary Groups in relation to their membership number, being 5 minutes for the smallest and up to 5 minutes total for all Members of the National Assembly who are not members of any parliamentary group .
(3) Such drafts resolution may be proposed also by any individual Member. Where more than one draft is proposed, proposals shall be put to the vote in the order of entry. Voting shall be held under the provisions of  Article 66.

Article 102. (1) The National Assembly shall hear questions, enquiries, and answers thereto during the last three hours of each Friday sitting, except if it decides otherwise.
(2) The Prime Minister shall be the first to answer, followed by the Deputy Prime Ministers or the Ministers and while answering the Ministers shall be subject to rotation.
(3) The questions and enquiries to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister or the Ministers shall be asked in the order of their entry.
4) For questions and inquiries on the same subject, the response of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Ministers shall be a shared one, under the relevant provisions of Aricles. 93 and 99.
(5) The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or Minister concerned, who has not responded within the statutory period, shall be required within 10 days to appear in person before the National Assembly to explain the failure of their duty.
(6) The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or Minister concerned shall respond in person.

Article 103. Members may ask no more than two questions and one enquiry with spoken answer in one plenary week.
(2) Members may not address a question or enquiry to which an answer has already been provided.
(3) Where a question and enquiry do not conform to these Rules or are not addressed to the member of the Council of Ministers under whose responsibility the subject matter of such question or enquiry belongs, the President shall notify the Member of the Assembly concerned to rectify such inconsistencies within three days. Within the same time limit the notified Member shall be entitled to challenge the inadmissibility of the question or enquiry. After consultations with the Council to the President on the admissibility, the President shall make a final decision whereof the Member shall be notified. If the decision is to allow the question or inquiry, the deadline for response under Article 92, paragraph 1 and Article 95, paragraph 1 respectively, shall be set as from the date of the final decision.

Article 104. (1) In the last up to an hour and a half of the sitting every first Wednesday of each month, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers shall appear before the National Assembly and take verbal topical questions relating to the general government policy addressed  by Members of the National Assembly representatives at the sitting itself. The questions ddressed may not contain requests for provision of detailed numerical data.
(2) Each parliamentary group shall be entitled to two topical verbal questions and the Members with no group membership shall be entitled to a total of two questions.
(3) The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers, who have been addressed with a question  respond immediately after it has been posed. In the absence of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers for valid reasons, the President of the National Assembly in consultation with them shall determine the sitting at which they will answer topical verbal questions.
(4) The procedure of addressing topical verbal questions under paragraph 1 shall be determined according to the size of parliamentary groups in descending order, with the last in line the unaffiliated Members of the National Assembly. Addressing the second round of questions shall be held in the same order only after the procedure of responding to the first round of questions has been exhausted.
(5) The provisions of Article 93, paragraph 2 and 3 shall apply to the procedure of raising topical verbal questions.
(6) No Parliamentary Group can take advantage of the right under Article 51, paragraph 6 in the time for responses to topical verbal questions.

Article 105. (1) The Council of Ministers may request the National Assembly to take a vote of confidence in it on the Council’s overall policy or on a specific issue.
(2) The debate shall commence at the sitting immediately following such request.
(3) After the closing of the debate, a relevant resolution of the Assembly shall be put to the vote, at the same sitting.
(4) The resolution shall pass if more than one half of the Members of the National Assembly in attendance vote for it.

Article 106. One fifth of the Members of the National Assembly may move a vote of no confidence in the Council of Ministers or the Prime Minister by introducing a reasoned draft resolution.

Article 107. (1) The debate on a draft no-confidence resolution shall commence not earlier than three days and not later than seven days after the submission of the motion.
(2) During the debate no amendments or addenda to the draft resolution shall be allowed.
(3) The resolution may be put to the vote not earlier than 24 hours after the closing of the debate thereon.
(4) The resolution shall pass if more than one half of all the Members of the National Assembly have voted in favor.

Article 108. Once a motion of no-confidence to the Council of Ministers has been rejected, no new motion of no-confidence on the same grounds may be proposed within the following six months.

Article 109. (1) Each year the Council of Ministers submits to the National Assembly a summary report concerning the execution of the decisions of the European Court on Human Rights on cases against the Republic of Bulgaria.
(2) The report of paragraph 1 above is put for consideration on a joint meeting between the Legal Affairs Committee and the Religious Denominations and Human Rights Committee and at a sitting of the National Assembly within 3 months after its submission.


Chapter Ten
PARLIAMENTARY HEARINGS, INVESTIGATIONS AND INQUIRIES


Article 110. (1) The National Assembly, or its elected Committees, may conduct hearings, investigations and inquiries on matters concerning state or public interests.
(2) When the National Assembly proceeds with a hearing the sponsor of the proposal shall present the issues within five minutes. The person being heard shall inform the National Assembly on the issues that are the subject of the hearing within ten minutes. Each parliamentary group shall be entitled to two questions and the unaffiliated Members– one question between themselves, with 2 minutes time limit for each question. The persons being heard shall respond to each question after it has been posed. Parliamentary Groups shall be entitled to comment the answers of the person heard within a time limit of 5 minutes. 
(3) Parliamentary Committees may require that Ministers and other officials appear before their meetings and answer their questions. Interested organizations and members of the public may attend such meetings. Within seven days after holding the hearing the respective committee shall submit to the President of the National Assembly a report of the hearing which shall be distributed to the Members of the National Assembly.

Article 111. All government bodies and officials of the government and municipal administration as well as members of the public, shall be under obligation to make available the required information and documents relevant to the hearings, investigations and inquiries, even if such information constitutes state or official secret.

Article 112. The form in which such information shall be supplied shall be determined by the National Assembly or the Committee concerned.

Article 113. (1) Officials and members of the public, if invited, shall be bound to appear before the Committees of the National Assembly and to provide any requested information and documents.
(2) The summons for such appearance shall be served by offices of the National Assembly.


Chapter Eleven
PARLIAMENTARY MONITORING AND OVERSIGHT ON EUROPEAN UNION AFFAIRS


Article 114. (1) The Council of Ministers shall submit to the National Assembly, within one week after its adoption, the Annual Programme adopted by it for the Participation of the Republic of Bulgaria in the European Union decision-making process.
(2) The President of the National Assembly shall refer the Annual Programme under paragraph 1 to the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds and to the other standing committees. The standing committees shall prepare their proposals for the Annual Programme of the National Assembly within three weeks, taking also into account the Working Programme of the European Commission for the respective year.
(3) The Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds shall, taking into consideration also the proposals of the other standing committees, propose a draft Annual Working Programme of the National Assembly on issues of the European Union within two weeks after the expiration of the term envisaged in paragraph 2 . The Annual Working Programme shall contain a list of the draft acts of the European Union institutions over which the National Assembly shall exercise monitoring and control. The draft Annual Working Programme shall be debated and adopted by the National Assembly.
(4) The President of the National Assembly shall send the Council of Ministers the adopted Annual Working Programme according to the preceding paragraph.
(5) In case of newly emerging circumstances the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds may propose on its own initiative or on proposal by other standing committees additions to the Annual Working Programme of the National Assembly on European Union issues which shall be adopted following the procedure of paragraph 3.

Article 115. (1) The draft acts of the European Union institutions included in the Annual Working Programme under Article 114, paragraph 3 shall be submitted by the Council of Ministers to the National Assembly within three weeks after their receipt.
(2) In case circumstances occur requiring amendments to the initial Bulgarian position, the Council of Ministers shall duly inform the National Assembly of these circumstances and of the amendment of the position.

Article 116. (1) Within the time-limit under Article 74, paragraph 1, the President of the National Assembly shall refer to the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds and to other standing committees of the National Assembly the draft acts of the institutions of the European Union received from the Council of Ministers and accompanied by a framework position. When the acts concern foreign policy or defence issues the President of the National Assembly must refer them to the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Defense Committee.
(2) The Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds may, on its own initiative or on the proposal of a standing committee, impose a reservation on behalf of the National Assembly on draft acts of the European Union, included in the Annual Working Programme under Article 114, paragraph 3. The reservation of the National Assembly implies the Council of Ministers’ obligation not to take a stand before the Council of the European Union until the National Assembly makes final decision.

Article 117. The European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds Committee shall debate the draft acts of the institutions of the European Union and the framework positions thereto taking into consideration the opinions expressed in the reports of the other competent standing committees if any.
(2) The Standing Committees of the National Assembly consider the draft legislative act on whether the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality have been applied in the draft acts of the European Union institutions within the time frame determined in article 6 of the Protocol (No 2) of the Treaty for Functioning of the European Union.
(3) When the Committee on European Affairs and European Funds Oversight rules that a draft act of the European Union’s institutions does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality it draws up a reasoned opinion. (4) The Committee on European Affairs and European Funds Oversight submits the report or the reasoned opinion to the President of the National Assembly, who sends it to the Council of Ministers and to the Presidents of the European Parliament, the EU Council and the European Commission within the time frame determined in article 6 of the Protocol (No 2) of the Treaty for Functioning of the European Union.

Article 118. The National Assembly prepares a reasoned request to the Council of Ministers for initiation of legal action before the European Court of Justice on grounds of breach of the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality.

Article 119. The National Assembly shall establish and maintain database containing the acts and other documents of the institutions of the European Union.

Article 120. (1)The Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds shall hold hearings of candidates for positions in the institutions of the European Union, nominated by the Council of Ministers.
(2) The candidates under paragraph 1 above shall appear before the Committee on European Affairs and answer questions posed by its members.

Article 121. The National Assembly shall take part in the mechanisms for evaluation of the policies of the European Union within the Area for Freedom, Security and Justice, in the political control over Europol and the evaluation of the activities of Eurojust.
(2) The National Assembly shall take part in the procedures regarding the renegotiation of Treaties.
(3) The National Assembly shall consider the applications of countries willing to join the European Union.
(4) The National Assembly shall take an active part in the inter-parliamentary cooperation of the EU member-states.

Article 122. The National Assembly may hold hearings of the Prime Minister on the positions of the Republic of Bulgaria to be presented at upcoming meetings of the European Union Council.

Article 123. The Council of Ministers, in execution of article 105, paragraph 3 of the Constitution, informs the National Assembly on matters related to the obligations for the Republic of Bulgaria ensuing from its membership in the European Union.

Article 124. The Council of Ministers, in compliance with Article 105, paragraph 4 of the Constitution, shall present at the beginning of every six-month term of the Presidency of the European Union report on the participation of the Republic of Bulgaria in the decision-making process of the European Union during the preceding Presidency and on the priorities of the Republic of Bulgaria during the current presidency. The National Assembly shall hear the report of the Prime Minister.

Article 125. Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Bulgaria may participate in a non voting capacity in the sittings of the National Assembly under paragraph 1 and 2.


Chapter Twelve
MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY


Section I
Legal Status


Article 126. Every Member of the National Assembly may be elected to the bodies of the National Assembly. He/she shall have the duty to participate in such bodies’ work.

Article 127. (1) The Members of the National Assembly shall retain their previous employment positions, in governemet or municipal bodies, in state-run or municipal enterprises, in commercial companies with more than 50 percent state or municipal share in the capital or in other entities supported by the national budget, by taking an unpaid leave of absence until the termination of their powers. The above shall also apply to managers of commercial companies with a more than 50 percent government or municipal share, who are parties to a management contract, but for not longer than the term of the contract.
(2) Where the reinstatement is subject to an act of a government authority, the authority concerned shall be obliged to issue such act.

Article 128. The time during which Members of the National Assembly perform their dities shall be recognized as length of service, respectively as seniority in the position occupied before their election to the National Assembly.

Article 129. (1) Members of the National Assembly may not receive any other employment compensation.
(2) Members of the National Assembly may receive fees or remuneration as independent contractors.

Article 130. (1) Members of the National Assembly may not occupy any other position in a government authority or carry out any activities, which is incompatible with the status of a Member of the National Assembly under the law.
(2) Members of the National Assembly may not participate in the management or supervisory bodies of commercial companies or co-operatives.
(3) Members of the National Assembly may continue their participation in collective management and academic bodies of the higher education establishments and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences with the exception of individual managerial positions.

Article 131. (1) Members of the National Assembly shall have the right to a paid annual leave coinciding with the recesses of the National Assembly.
(2) Members of the National Assembly shall have no right to an unpaid leave.

Article 132. (1) Members of the National Assembly shall have the duty to attend the sittings of the National Assembly and those of the Committees to which they are elected.
(2) Any Member of the National Assembly, who has a reason to withdraw from a sitting before the completion of its business, or to come late to a sitting, shall notify the Secretaries on duty or the leadership of the Committee.
(3) Any Member of the National Assembly, who has to be absent for valid reasons from a sitting of the National Assembly or a meeting of any of its Committees shall notify the President of the National Assembly, respectively the Chairperson of the Committee.

Article 133. For matters unsettled by these Rules, the Labour Code and the Social Insurance Code shall be applied, as long as they do not contradict or are not incompatible with the status of being a Member of the National Assembly.

Article 134. (1) Members of the National Assembly may not be arrested and shall not be liable to criminal prosecution, save for a committed crime of a general nature and then only by permission of the National Assembly or, when the Assembly is not in session (Article 43, paragraph 2), by a permission of the President of the National Assembly.
(2) No permission for making an arrest shall be required when the Member concerned is caught in the act of committing a serious crime, in which case the National Assembly, or, when the Assembly is not in session (Article 43, paragraph 2), its President, shall be notified immediately.
(3) Where there is sufficient data to the effect that a Member of the National Assembly has committed a crime of a general nature, the Prosecutor General shall direct a substantiated request to the National Assembly or, when the Assembly is not in session, to its President, for permission to initiate criminal proceedings. Sufficient evidence shall be enclosed with such request.
(4) Permission to initiate criminal proceedings shall not be required if the Member of the National Assembly has given his/her written consent to that effect.The Member of the National Assembly shall submit his/her agreement to the President of the National Assembly who shall notify forthwith the Prosecutor General and inform the National Assembly at the first sitting following the submission of the consent. Once given by a Member of the National Assembly the consent cannot be withdrawn.
 (5) Except for the cases under paragraph 4, the request of the Prosecutor General and the supporting evidence shall be considered by the National Assembly, which shall rule thereon not earlier than 14 days after the receipt of the request. If so requested, and if the Member concerned appears before it, the National Assembly shall hear the Member concerned.
(6) When the National Assembly is not in session (Article 42, paragraph 2), the permission to institute criminal proceedings against a Member shall be granted by the President of the National Assembly.The permission granted by the President of the National Assembly shall be tabled for approval by the Members of the national Assembly at the earliest sitting of the Assembly.
(7) Where the criminal proceedings lead to a conviction of a premediated crime punishable by imprisonment and the prison sentence is not suspended, the National Assembly shall adopt a resolution to terminate the powers of the Member concerned before the end of his/her term.
(8) Where the Prosecutor General has requested that the Member concerned be taken into custody, the National Assembly shall pass a separate resolution on such request following the procedure laid down under paragraphs 1 to 7. The Assembly may rescind a permission already given.
(9) The provisions of Article 70 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria shall apply, also, where criminal proceedings against a Member of the National Assembly had been instituted prior to his election.

Article 135. Members of the National Assembly may not be mobilized as reservists in time of war.

Article 136. (1) Any Member of the National Assembly elected as a Member of the Council of Ministers shall be substituted, for the duration of his office, by the next candidate on the party or coalition ballot list.
(2) When such Member of the National Assembly is relieved of his/her ministerial post, his/her powers as National Assembly Member shall be reinstated, whereas those of his/her substitute shall be terminated. When more than one substitution has been made in one election list, the powers of the last on the list, who has assumed them as a substitute, shall be terminated when the powers of a Member of The National Assembly are being restored.

Article 137. State and local authorities and their administrations shall be obligated to render full assistance to the Members of the National Assembly and to provide, on request, any information and documents relating to the execution of the Members’ duties. A Member of the National Assembly shall have the right to visit all state and local authorities, ministries, institutions, agencies and organizations.

Section II
ETHICAL CODE OF CONDUCT


Article 138. The Member of the National Assembly shall exercise his/her powers based on the respect for the supremacy of the law, the protection of the public interest, guided by the principles of impartiality and against private interests, by openness, accountability and transparency.

Article 139. Members of the National Assembly shall treat citizens with due respect regardless of their political preferences, official position and the opinions expressed by them.

Article 140. (1) The Member of the National Assembly may not consent to exercise his/her duties in favor of private interests of natural persons or legal entities.
(2) The Member of Parliament may not consent or use his official position for advertising activities.

Article 141. (1) The Member of Parliament shall not let him/her to be binded by financial dependency or otherwise with natural persons or legal entities, a dependency that may influence the exercise of his/her powers.
(2) The Member of Parliament shall exercise his/her powers without seeking or receiving a material or other profit for himself/herself or the persons connected to him/her.
(3) The Member of Parliament may not undertake actions, which contradict the division of powers and the independence of the state bodies.

Article 142. The Member of Parliament shall disclose his/her assets, income and expenditures in the country and abroad in conformity with the Public Disclosure of Financial Interests of Officials Holding High State and Other Positions Act.

Article 143. The Member of the National Assembly shall be obligated to disclose according to the Conflict of Interest Prevention and Asceratinment Act private interest when he/she bears such in the bills he/she has moved, the statements he/she has made, or in the voting cast in the plenary room or as member of a parliamentary committee.

Article 144. The Member of the National Assembly shall be obligated to keep the confidentiality of the information which became known to him/her while exercising his/her powers as well as the personal information regarding the private lives of other members.

Article 145. (1)The Member of the National Assembly may not use his/her position to acquire special privileges and assets.
(2) The Member of the National Assembly may not receive presents, except if given by way of protocol and if their value is not higher than one-tenth of his/her monthly remuneration. Presents over this value are submitted to the National Assembly and recorded in a public register of the National Assembly set for this purpose.

Article 146. (1)The Member of the National Assembly may announce an address and e-mail for contact.
(2) The Member of the National Assembly holds meetings with his/her voters including in his/her electoral district, except when busy with parliamentary and committee sittings and tasks.
(3) The Member of the National Assembly may publish on his Internet site information about the schedule of his/her meetings with voters, his speeches, proposals and opinions on bills as well as the names of his/her assistants, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses for communication.

Article 147. The Member of the National Assembly is entitled to no more than 3 assistants who are not part of the regular administration. The National Assembly establishes and maintains a register of the assistants who are not part of the regular administration. In the register are also recorded the names of the persons who participate in the drafting, the debates and the adoption of the acts and the documents of the National Assembly hired on contract.

Article 148. (1) The Committee on Corruption Prevention and Conflicts of Interest and Parliamentary Ethics establishes violations of this section’s rules and comes out with a Decision, which it makes public through the register of the National Assembly. The Member of the National Assembly concerned may express opinion on the committee’s decision, which is also posted on the register.
(2) The Committee under paragraph 1 adopts Rules for implementation of this Section.

Section III
PARLIAMENTARY CONDUCT


Article 149. (1)The behavior of the Member of the National Assembly shall be based on respect for the authority of the National Assembly and respect for the other Members as well as for people who do not belong to the National Assembly. His/her behavior shall not disrupt the normal course of parliamentary work or the internal order on the premises of the National Assembly.
(2) Members of the National Assembly shall have no right to interrupt a speaker, address personal attacks, use offensive language, gestures or threats against any person, divulge information concerning the private life or compromising the good standing of any citizen, behave in any unproper manner or such that cause disorder at sittings.

Article 150. The following disciplinary measures may be applied against Members of the National Assembly:
1. Call to order.
2. Reprimand.
3. Censure.
4. Rule out of order.
5. Suspension from one sitting.
6. Suspension for up to three sittings.

Article 151. The Chairperson shall call to order any Member who does not keep to the matter discussed at hand.

Article 152. The Chairperson shall reprimand a Member of Parliament who addresses his colleague or colleagues with offensive language, gestures or threats.

Article 153.The Chairperson of the sitting of the National Assembly shall censure a Member who violates and disrupts the order in the plenary hall.

Article 154. The Chairperson of the sitting shall rule out of order any Member who:
1. in the course of his/her speech has been punished twice with the foreseen in article 150, items 1-3 disciplinary measures.
2. continues his/her speech beyond the time limit, disregarding the Chairperson’s instructions to conclude his/her speech.

Article 155. The Chairperson may suspend for one sitting a Member who:
1. disputes a disciplinary measure imposed upon him/her in a rude and unbecoming manner;
2. continualy or repeatedly disrupts the normal progress of business in the plenary room;
3. votes with with another member’s card.

Article 156. (1)The Chairperson may suspend for more than one sitting , but for not more than three sittings, any Member of the National Assembly who:
1. insults the National Assembly, the members of the Council of Ministers or the Head of State, the Vice-President of the Republic or other organs of the state;
2. insites or commits violence in the Plenary room or on the premises of the National Assembly;
(2) A Member of the National Assembly suspended in pursuance of paragraph 1 and article 155 shall not be remunerated for the sittings from which he/she is suspended.
(3) A Member of the National Assembly shall have the right to dispute the the disciplinary measure imposed on him/her before the President of the National Assemblywithin three days from its imposition. The Presidents’ Council shall have the right to sustain, cancel or amend in a reasoned manner the thus imposed disciplinary measure.

Article 157. The information about the disciplinary measures imposed under article 150 is published on the Internet site of the National Assembly.

Article 158. Information about members’ unjustified absences from meetings of the Standing Committees, Subcommittees, working groups and from plenary sittings shall be posted on the website of the National Assembly on a monthly basis. Such information shall be posted no later than 7 days after the end of the month which it concerns.


ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

§ 1. (1) These Rules of Organisation and Procedure of the National Assembly may be amended on the motion of the President of the National Assembly or on the request of any individual Member of the National Assembly.
(2) Such motions shall be examined by the Legal Affairs Committee within 14 days.
(3) The written opinion of the Committee shall be sent to the President of the National Assembly who shall circulate among all Members of the National Assembly.

§ 2. The National Assembly shall settle by resolution any matter not provided for in these Rules.

§ 3. For the purposes of these Rules, ‘President’ shall mean the occupant of the Chair at any sitting of the National Assembly.

§ 4. For the purposes of a secret ballot, ‘in attendance’ shall mean all the Members of the National Assembly who have cast ballots. For the purpose of an open vote, ‘in attendance’ shall mean the number of Members of the National Assembly who have registered before the start of the vote.
 
§ 5. For the purposes of these Rules, ‘number of parliamentary group’ shall mean the number of members of the group at the time of making a respective decision by the National Assembly.

§ 6. (1) For the execution of its powers the National Assembly is helped by an administration.
(2) The employees in the administration of the National Assembly are considered parliamentary employees. Their status shall be regulated by the Rules under Article 8, paragraph 1, item 13 of the Rules of Organization and Procedure of the National Assembly.
(3) The number of parliamentary employees in the National Assembly, the title of the positions, the minimal educational requirements, the minimum rank and/or professional experience required for each position, the type of employment as well as the other requirements for the particular position and the minimum and maximum remuneration for each one are determined within the Uniform Schedule of Positions in the Administration at the National Assembly.
(4) Where the term of the National Assembly has ended, or the National Assembly has been dissolved earlier, the Secretary General of the National Assembly shall exercise urgent administrative functions of the President of the National Assembly in conformity with these Rules and with the Law in the period until the nomination of a new President.

§ 7. The distribution of all drafts, documents and other materials necessary for the plenary work of the Members of the National Assembly shall be carried out through the electronic mail. The day and hour of their distribution are presumed to be the day and hour of their dispatch. By way of exception the President of the National Assembly may order distribution of paper copies of the materials in the Plenary room – during plenary sittings or delvered to the parliamentary groups.

§ 8. The terms of these Rules are figured out in the same way as the ones of the Civil Procedure Code. The last day of a given term expires at 18.00 hrs.

CONCLUDING PROVISIONS

§ 9. The provisions of Article 48, paragraph 1 on the livestreaming on the Internet of the open sittings of the National Assembly through the parliamentary TV channel (BNT) shall be applied from the moment when financial and technical means become available.

§ 10. These Rules are enacted in conformity with article 73 of the Constitution and repeal the Rules of Organisation and Procedure of the National Assembly (promulgated in the State Gazette N0 53/2013, amended SG No 62 and SG No 97/ 2013).

§ 11. These Rules shall enter into force on the date of promulgation in the State Gazette with the exception of article 11, sentence 7 of the Appendix to the Rules – Financial Rules of the Budget of the National Assembly, which shall enter into force as of January 1st, 2015.
These Rules were adopted by the 43rd National Assembly on 21 November 2014 and were sealed with the official seal of the National Assembly.



Appendix to the Rules
Financial Regulations for the National Assembly Budget


Article 1. (1) The independent budget of the National Assembly shall be part of the State budget of the Republic of Bulgaria.
(2) The budget of the Economic and Social Council shall be part of the budget of the National Assembly.
(3) The budget of the National Assembly shall comprise all revenues from the operations of its second level spending units, administrative and business expenditures, the financial support expenses provided to Parliamentary Groups and Standing Committees as well as the expenses for its international activities and inter-parliamentary organizations.
(4) Funds from the budget of the National Assembly may also fund specific projects and programs aimed at the establishment of democratic civic values, leadership skills and democratic practices of decision making process, and for special training courses for Members of the National Assembly and leaders of all political parties and coalition represented in parliament in regards with the membership of the Republic of Bulgaria in the European Union.
(5) The second level spending units of the National Assembly’s budget are the heads of: the Economic and Social Council; the State Gazette editorial office; the National Center for Public Opinion Surveys, the Regional Secretariat for Parliamentary Cooperation in Southeast Europe under the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria; the Sanatorium and Recreational Facility of the National Assembly in the town of Velingrad; the Publishing Center and the Catering Complex.
(6) The National Assembly shall allocate on annual baisis from its budget funds for the student program titled "National Assembly’s Student Internships for Legislative Research". The reports of the research projects shall be posted on the web page of the Program within the National Assembly’s website.
(7) Every year the budget of the National Assembly shall set aside reserves to cover urgent and/or incidental expenses.

Article 2. (1) The President of the National Assembly or a person authorized by him/her shall determine the budgetary procedure and deadline for preparing a medium term budgetary outlook and a draft for the National Assembly budget on the authority of the Decision of the Council of Ministers on the adoption of budgetary procedure for preparing a three-year budgetary outlook and a draft for the state budget for the following year.
(2) The Parliamentary Budget and Finance Directorate shall coordinate and prepare the drafts for a medium term budgetary outlook and the National Assembly budget and the draft reports accompanying them. The summary draft budget forecast and the draft budget shall be prepared on the basis of the first- and second level spending units draft budgets .The Standing Public Sector Accountability Subcommittee under the Budget and Finance Committee shall deliberate and deliver opinion on the draft budget forecast and the draft budget. The draft budget forecast, the draft budget, the draft reports and the opinion of the Subcommittee shall be submitted to the President of the National Assembly.
Article. 3. The use of reserves from the National Assembly’s budget for unforeseen and/or urgent expenses shall be undertaken by order of the President of the National Assembly.

Article. 4. (1) The Parliamentary Budget and Finance Directorate shall draw up prepares the annual cash report on the execution of the National Assembly’s Budget based on the first and second level spending units’ reports and shall submit it to the National Assembly President, who shall refer it to The Public Sector Accountability Subcommittee within the Budget and Finance Committee for an opinion.
(2) The financial report for the execution of the Budget shall be submitted for approval by the National Assembly not later than six months from the year’s closure, after being reported by the National Assembly President.

Article 5. Members of the National Assembly shall receive base monthly remuneration equivalent to three average monthly salaries of employees and civil servants in the public sector  according to data supplied by the National Statistics Institute. Such base monthly remuneration shall be adjusted quarterly on the basis of the average monthly salary for the last month of the preceding quarter.
Article 6. (1) The President of the National Assembly shall receive remuneration 55 per cent higher than the base monthly remuneration under Article 5 above; the Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly shall receive remuneration higher by 45 per cent; Standing Committee Chairpersons and Parliamentary Groups Chairpersons under Article 9 of the Rules shall receive remuneration higher by 35 percent; Deputy Chairpersons of Committees shall receive remuneration higher by 25 per cent; Members of Standing committees shall receive remuneration higher by15 per cent; Parliamentary Secretaries shall receive remuneration higher by 10 per cent.
(2) Where a parliamentary group is co-chaired by two persons, a single only remuneration is due.
(3) Where a Member of the National Assembly holds more than one leading positions in the bodies of the Assembly he/she shall be paid only for the one corresponding to the higher remuneration.
(4) Members of Parliament receive remuneration in proportion of the time spent on work, but not exceeding 5 percent of their base monthly remuneration, for their participation in subcommittees, ad hoc committees and working groups, designated by the Standing Committees. It is decided in each case whether an additional remuneration shall be granted to those who take part in ad hoc committees and working groups, when their term of office is extended.

Article 7. (1) Base monthly remuneration under Articles 5 and 6 shall be adjusted upward by monthly allowances for length of service and professional experience - 1 percent for each year served, and for academic degree ‘Doctor’ - 10 percent, and ‘Doctor of Sciences’ - 15 percent of the base monthly salary of Member of Parliament.
(2) Members of the National Assembly may receive additional remunerations for their contributions to the fulfillment of priority tasks of the country.
(3) The remunerations as calculated shall be adjusted downwards by deductions set by the Natural Persons Income Tax, as well as insurance contributions under the Social Security Code, the Health Insurance Act, and other deductions such as may be stipulated by law which are at the expense of the insured persons.

Article 8. Members of the National Assembly shall be covered by full insurance with premium rates for third category of labour as defined in the Labor Code, and also for the risks covered by life insurance.

Article 9. All additional expenses incurred by any Member of the National Assembly for personal assistant or nursing care due to disability shall be covered from the Budget of the National Assembly.

Article. 10 (1) Members of the National Assembly shall have the right to free travel by state-owned or municipal public transport, the railways, inter-city road and water transport, at first class and sleeping compartment rates, within the entire territory of Bulgaria.
(2) Members of the National Assembly may claim travel expenses if using private bus services in connevction with their official duties as Members of Parliament.
(3) Members of the National Assembly whose constituencies fall within an airline service area and are situated at distances exceeding 250 km from Sofia may claim expenses for travel, in relation to their official duties, by air, but limited to 40 one way or return air tickets annually. All other Members may claim in relation to their official duties up to 12 one way or return air tickets annually.
(4) Members of the National Assembly who do not own a family home in the Greater Sofia Municipality shall be provided, free of charge, with Assembly-run housing in Sofia for the duration of their term of office. Any expenses for housing repairs, standard furniture, alarm security equipment or or manned security as well as any taxes and fees under the Local Taxes and Charges Act shall be be borne by the National Assembly budget.
(5) Members of the National Assembly shall have the right to accommodation and per diem allowances when visiting their constituencies. The accommodation and travel allowances when the Member concerned uses his/her own car shall be determined by the President of the National Assembly. This matter shall be regulated by an order issued by the President of the National Assembly.
(6) Members of the National Assembly shall have the right to individual office space in Sofia, provided by the National Assembly and furnished with the necessary technical and communication equipment and shall have the right to a personal webpage in the Internet supported by the server of the National Assembly.
(7) The National Assembly shall provide Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Bulgaria with office space in Sofia furnished with the necessary technical and communication equipment, the maintenance costs of such office space and equipment being for account of the respective Member of the European Parliament.

Article 11. The National Assembly shall cover additional expenses of Members of the National Assembly, organized in Parliamentary Groups, and by Members with no Parliamentary Group membership incurred in relation to their official duties, limited to two thirds of the base monthly remuneration under Article 5. For this purpose a lump sum shall be disbursed to the Parliamentary Groups as well as to the unaffiliated Members, who shall determine the manner of its allocation. Such sums shall be used for expenses for assistance,for consultations, expert opinions, office rents and such other expenses connected with the Members’ work in the Assembly and in their respective constituencies. Members of the National Assembly shall report the Parliamentary Group every three months for the expenses incurred, that can be also posted on their website. Unaffiliated Members of Parliament shall post on a quarterly basis information on their web page about their expenses. The additional expenses are taxed in accordance with the Corporate Income Tax Act.

Article 12. The Budget of the National Assembly shall cover entertainment expenses of the President and Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly, the Chairpersons of Parliamentary Groups and Standing Committees, and and hospitality expenses for invitees of the Assembly.

Article 13. (1) If any Member of the National Assembly fails, for no valid reason, to attend a plenary sitting his daily remuneration shall be withheld.
(2) In case of unjustified absence from a Committee, Subcommittee or Working group sitting , an amount equal to the surplus payment for participation in the respective Committee, Subcommittee or Working group sitting shall be withheld from the Member of the National Assembly.
(3) Where a Member of the National Assembly fails to attend without valid reason 3 consecutive and in total 5 monthly plenary sittings two thirds of his monthly remuneration shall be withheld and the National Assembly shall not cover more than 1/3 of his/her expenses under art. 11.
(4) Where a sitting of the National Assembly has been terminated due to lack of quorum, two thirds of the daily remuneration of the Members of the National Assembly, absent from the sitting for no valid reason, shall be withheld.
(5) The data on the deductions shall be based on the registration and voting printouts, from the reports of the Chairpersons of Standing Committees, Subcommittees and Working groups and the shorthand records.

Article 14. Any amounts withheld in pursuance of Article 13 shall be credited as savings to the Budget of the National Assembly.

Article 15. (1) Remunerations under Articles 5 and 7 shall accrue from Election day, and for Members of the National Assembly subsequently assuming office – from the date on which the Member of the National Assembly has been declared elected by the Central Election Committee. Remunerations under Article 6 shall accrue from the date of election of the Members of the National Assembly to the respective posts and as Committee members.
(2) Government Ministers elected as Members of Parliament in a consecutive National Assembly declare where they will receive their remuneration from, for the period until the new Council of Ministers is nominated.

Article 16. (1) Every parliamentary employee who has reached the length of service and age required for retirement is entitled to one time compensation equal to as many monthly remunerations as the number of years served in the National Assembly, but not more than 10, when his/her employment is terminated.
(2) Parliamentary employees are entitled to a yearly allowance for professional attire to the amount of two average monthly remunerations in the public sector of the economy.

Article 17. The National Center for the Study of Public Opinion shall post on its webpage within the National Assembly Internet site its work plan, any completed surveys commissioned by the National Assembly or parliamentary groups financed by the budget of the National Assembly, any publications made and its archive data by year and topics.