Bulgaria - Ministry of Defence

Exercising civilian control over the armed forces and the special services stems from the values of democratic civil society and is stipulated in the national legislation. The acts of legislation of the National Assembly establish the main regulatory mechanisms in the field of defence and national security. The organizational structure of the Ministry of Defence is aligned with the priorities of the state policy of Bulgaria in the light of the membership in NATO and the EU.

All activities of the present leadership of the Ministry of Defence are conducted under complete publicity, and this practice considerably contributed to improving the relations of the political leadership of defence with the needs and expectations of the public. This conveyed a message to society that we are firmly committed to protect the public interest in the defence sector. The basic means used in this respect was the introduction of systematic accountancy and responsibility for the undertaken activities and achieved results. This brings to the knowledge of the Bulgarian public the Annual Report on the state of defence and the armed forces as well as the quarterly progress reports on the reforms in the Ministry of Defence, by means of which the Members of Parliament and the public are provided with the opportunity to observe the development of the processes in the sphere of defence.

President Georgi Purvanov has promulgated the newly adopted Defence Act that envisages radical change in the leadership of the Bulgarian armed forces, the presidency's press office announced on May 7 2009. The bill was adopted by Parliament at the end of April 2009 amid Purvanov's concerns that it increased political control over the army at the expense of civil control. On May 6 2009 - Bulgarian Army Day - Purvanov told reporters that he had a "different idea" regarding civil control over the military than that implied by the bill. The new act limits to some extent Purvanov's powers as commander-in-chief by strengthening the powers of the Defence Ministry. It also introduces a so-called integration model of command in Bulgaria's armed forces. The latter means an integration of the current political and military command into one structure within the Defence Ministry. The army's chief of staff is replaced by a commander of defence who will be appointed by the president at the request of the Government.

In contrast to past attempts to reform the Armed Forces, which always started from the bottom and faded going to the top, the principle employed isn 2010 requires reform to start radically from the top, from the administration of the Ministry of Defence and the organisation of top commanding structures. There can be found no contemporary argument to have the staff of top commanding defence structures, including the General Staff, to surpass 2.5% of the troops under their command. The new practice is one employed in the armies of allies and partners in NATO and the EU, and the ambition of our political leadership is for it to be firmly enforced. It has been planned that the administration should not exceed 750 personnel.

Directly Subordinate Structures

  • Military Intelligence Service acquires, processes, analyzes, stores and provides intelligence in the interest of national and collective security and defence, in terms and conditions set out in the Rules of Procedure of the Service. The Service provides information to appropriate users at national level in the MoD, the Bulgarian Army and to structures directly subordinate to the Minister of Defence.
  • Military Police Service is a structure of the Armed Forces that maintains order and security in the Ministry of Defence, in the structures directly subordinate to the Minister of Defence and in the Bulgarian Army.
  • Military Medical Academy is a hospital for outer and inner-hospital care, for military research, training and for expertise development. The Academy is part of the Bulgarian national health service system and provides medical support to the MoD personnel, the Bulgarian Army and personnel in the structures directly subordinate to the Minister of Defence. Its main objective is protecting, supporting and restoring the health of personnel.
  • G.S.Rakovski Military Academy, the V.Levski National Military University and the N.Y. Vaptsarov Naval College are higher military schools that perform the following activities: Higher education in the accredited professional areas; Postgraduate studies; Professional training of soldiers with secondary education; Research; Training in security and defence related to different tasks assigned by the Minister of Defence.
  • National Guard Unit is a representative military formation, a legal entity subordinate to the Minister of Defence.
  • Military Geographic Service is a military formation in the Armed Forces, outside the Bulgarian Army, and directly subordinate to the Minister of Defence. It is a legal entity directly subordinate to the Minister of Defence, the administration of which falls outside the terms of the Administration Act.
  • Stationary CIS The Stationary CIS military unit of the Armed Forces is outside the composition of the Bulgarian Army; a structure directly subordinate to the Minister of Defence, a legal entity, the administration of which falls outside the terms of Administration Act. The Stationary CIS unit is created with the reorganisation of the Command and staff of the CIS Brigade. The formation also comprises of the fixed CIS junctions that support strategic and operational level HQs, the structures executing inter-ministerial and inter-agency synergy, the stationary CIS, the integrated CIS management structures for state control (CAS) and supporting units. The organisational structure of the Stationary CIS includes the stationary communications network, Communications and Information Centre, the CAS Support Centre, Operational Centres and the Engineering and CIS recovery Centre.

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