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National Assembly Receives 2,098 Complaints, Proposals of Citizens in 2008
January 4, 2009

The National Assembly received 2,098 complaints and proposals of citizens in 2008 according to the report prepared by the reception office of parliament.

Of them, 369 signals received responses, 402 were assigned to be checked by the appropriate competent institutions and 787 were sent for opinion or information to the standing parliamentary committees.

A total of 540, including anonymous ones, ones, on which a competent authority had already pronounced, as well as copies of complaints to other institutions, were left without any

Hundreds of declarations, petitions, protests and positions were received during the discussion and adoption of the AnimalProtection Act, Parliament said. Bulgarian and German
environmentalists had insisted on liquidation of animal euthanasia and dogs shelters and on returning homeless dogs after castration to their natural habitats. The received
proposals were submitted in due time to the Agriculture and Forestry Committee and a great number of them were taken into consideration during the discussion of the bill.

Bulgarians residing abroad had sent via the Internet many letters asking for quicker legal settlement of the issue involving their health insurance contributions. This problem of
many years was solved by the adoption of amendments to the Health Insurance Act, by which Bulgarians residing abroad were exempted from paying health insurance contributions under a
simplified procedure.

The Condominium Management Act was another bill which caused a wide public discussion and for which contradictory positions and proposals were received.

A great number of objections were received via the Internet and with letters to the National Assembly regarding a bill to amend the education act in the part of dropping state requirements about command of Bulgarian language. The requirement remained in force under the pressure of the public and the support of the majority of MPs.

Many letters of parents protesting against making the age of 6 obligatory for children to start school, as well as protests by mayors, municipal councils and school boards against closing
schools in small centres of population because of the optimization of the school network were received last year.

Foundations of parents and non-governmental organizations had insisted on amendment of legislation in the field of child protection. In this regards, the National Assembly adopted a
Declaration Devoted to Bulgarian Children.

In view of the upcoming parliamentary elections, many citizens and non-governmental organizations insist on the development and adoption of a new election code, on updating of vote registers and on stricter sanctions for vote-buying. MPs have already
submitted to the National Assembly bills on improving election legislation, which will be a priority of Parliament's next session.

The Concessions Law, The Game Preservation and Hunting Law, the Law on the Political and Civil Vindication of Repressed Individuals and several others have been the subject of public interest and inflow of citizens’ opinions and proposals.

Civil organizations of retired people and a big number of retired individuals approached the NA with demands for changes in the legislation covering their needs and status and particularly for the increase of pensions. The parliamentary standing committees concerned, the government and the NA as a whole gave a lot of attention and kept looking for new opportunities to satisfy these demands. A considerable increase of retirement benefits and the ways of determining pensions were envisaged with the 2009 budget of the National Insurance Fund.
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