Economic Policy Review ISSN 1313 - 0544

Where is Bulgaria Among Others in Terms of Providing Access to Its National Legislation on Internet Free of Charge?

Author: Veliko Dimitrov, Kevin Allen / 26.01.2007
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There is always a need to know what are you paying your taxes for. That means in the first place just to know how is your government (not only the Council of Ministers, but also the Parliament) is doing its job. Thus the government produces regulations and rules and to be able to properly assess the rulers, you have to know these rules, i.e. to have access to them: not using a mediator and/or paying a bunch of money (6 010 lv./year for the electronic version now, which is more than 15 average month salaries), but enjoying free access on the Internet to authentic and functional files. Is that really so hard? It must be since it has not been done yet. Let us look at some other countries:

Probably not by accident Romania and Bulgaria still have not joined the EU. While it is a bit better in Romania you still need to subscribe and pay there to know what your rights and responsibilities are.

Some better practices:

All EU-member states publish their legislation and official announcements on Internet. In some of the countries there is just one legal paper, called legal gazette, while in others there are generally two types – a legal gazette for the national legislation and an official gazette for all kinds of approved official information.

Country, name, type and Internet address of the official paper

Institution responsible for publishing the official paper

Access on Internet

Texts and date (of the texts)

Official character?

Additions on Internet

European Union“Official Journal of the European Union” legal gazette.

Office for Official Publications of the European Communities

Free of charge

PDF from 1998

TIFF from 1952

No

See here.

Belgium – “Belgisch Staatsblad” - legal gazette - here or here.

Belgisch Staatsblad - part of the Federal Public Service Justice

Free of charge

ASCII and PDF from 1997

Yes, just five copies are published on paper

See here.

Czech Republik – “Sbírka zákonů - Sb. (Collection of Acts) - legal gazette

Sbírka mezinárodních smluv - Sb.m.s.

(Collection of International Treaties) - legal gazette. 

Ministerstvo vnitra České republiky
Odbor komunitárního práva – part of Ministry of Interior

 

Free of charge

PDF from 4.4.1945

No

See here.

Denmark– “Lovtidende(Official Journal) - legal gazette

Civilstyrelsen

(Civil Affairs Agency) – part of Ministry of Justice

Free of charge

HTML from 1995

After adopting an amendment in law, yes + just one paper copy

See here.

Germany – “Bundesgesetzblatt (BGBl.)(German Federal Legal Gazette) - legal gazette.

Bundesanzeiger (BAnz)(Federal Gazette) - official gazette

Bundesanzeiger Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (Bundesanzeiger Publishing House Co. Ltd.) – private company; The federal government through federal Ministry of Justice holds 35,1 % of the shares

Free of charge

PDF from 1998

No

See here.

Estonia – “Riigi Teataja, RT(State Gazette) - legal gazette.

Riigi Teataja Kirjastus (State Gazette Publishing House) – a state owned company

Free of charge

HTML and XML from 2002

Yes, + five paper copies

See here.

Greece – “Fill Efimerida Tis Kivernisis - F.E.K.(National Gazette Issues) - legal gazette.

Ethniko Typografio (National Printing House of Greece) – under Ministry of Interior, public administration and decentralization

Free of charge

 

No

See here.

Spain – “Boletín Oficial del Estado(Official State Bulletin) - legal gazette.

Boletín Oficial del Estado (Official State Bulletin) – independent organization

Free of charge

XML from 1960

PDF from 1998

IFF from 1875

No, but t he electronic version is considered authentic

See here.

France – “Journal Officiel de la République française (JORF)(Official Journal of French Republic) - legal gazette.

Direction des Journaux officiels (Directorate of Official Journals) – a state office under the Secretary-General of the Cabinet

Free of charge

PDF, TIFF, HTML from 1990

Yes, since 1 July 2004.

See here.

Ireland – “Acts of the Oireachtas and Statutory Instruments Iris Oifigiúil(Irish State Gazette) - legal gazette - http://www.oireachtas.ie (click on 'Legislation')
http://www.irisoifigiuil.ie (secondary legislation)

Office of Public Works
Government Supplies Agency
– part of the Office for Public Activities

Free of charge

PDF

No

See here.

Italy – “Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica italiana” (Official Gazette of the Italian Republic) - legal gazette.

Ministero della Giustizia - Direzione della Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana (Ministry of Justice - Directorate of the Official Gazette of the Italian Republic) – part of Ministry of Justice

Free of charge

ASCII and PDF from 1989

No, but a new amendment will change this const elation

See here.

Cyprus – “Epissimi Efimerida tis Dimokratias tis Kyprou(Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus) - legal gazette.

Government Printing Office – part of Ministry of Finance

Free of charge

From 2004

Yes

See here.

Latvia – “Latvijas Vēstnesis(Latvian Herald) - legal gazette.

Latvijas Vēstnesis, BO VSIA (Latvian Herald, Ltd) – a company, owned by the government through, Ministry of Justice

Partially free of charge, partially not

HTML from 1996

No

See here.

 

Lithuania – “Valstybės Žinios(Official Gazette) - legal gazette.

Valstybės imonė Seimo leidykla “Valstybės žinios” (The Publishing House of the Parliament of Lithuania “Valstybės žinios”) – state company, owned by the Parliament

Subscription for PDF

PDF + Microsoft Word

No

See here.

Luxembourg – “Mémorial A” - legal gazette

Mémorial B”, “Mémorial C” - official gazette.

Ministère d'Etat - Service Central de Législation, éditeur du Mémorial (Ministry of State – Central Legislative Service, Editor of the “Mémorial”) – a government agency

Free of charge

Mémorial A, PDF from 1935
Mémorial B and Mémorial C, PDF from 1996

No

See here.

Hungary – “Magyar Közlöny MK(Hungarian Official Journal) - legal gazette.

Magyar Hivatalos Közlönykiadó (Hungarian Official Journal Publisher) – a company, owned by the government

Free of charge

ASCII from 1990
PDF from 2000

HTML from 1998
XML from 2002

others from 1996

No

See here.

Malta – “Il-Gazzetta tal-Gvern ta' Malta(The Malta Government Gazette) - legal gazette.