(Source: European Commission)
Today, the European Commission decided to refer Bulgaria to the Court of Justice of the European Union for continuously failing to connect its national business register to the Business Registers Interconnection System (BRIS), and therefore breaching the Directive ((EU) 2017/1132) relating to certain aspects of company law.
The deadline for Bulgaria to connect to BRIS was 8 June 2017. More than 4 years after that deadline and despite repeated calls by the Commission, Bulgaria is still not connected to the system. As a result, none of the functions of BRIS are available concerning Bulgarian companies. More specifically, Bulgaria’s failure to connect to BRIS makes it complicated for EU citizens, companies and professionals to obtain relevant information on Bulgarian companies. Furthermore, without BRIS, business registers cannot cooperate in cross-border mergers that involve Bulgarian companies or in procedures related to cross-border branches of Bulgarian companies. This is why the Commission decided to refer Bulgaria to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
For businesses increasingly operating across borders, it is essential to have easy access to information on companies located in different Member States. BRIS facilitates access to information on EU companies for the public and ensures that all EU business registers can share information among each other electronically, in a safe and secure way, in relation to cross-border mergers and foreign branches. In the longer run, the aim is to boost confidence in the Single Market by enhancing transparency and providing up-to-date information, while reducing unnecessary burdens on companies.
On 2 July 2020, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Bulgaria. On 18 February 2021, the Commission went on to issue a reasoned opinion against Bulgaria. The Commission also sent a letter of formal notice to France and Ireland in July 2020 requesting them to take the necessary action. France and Ireland have since taken satisfactory measures and the Commission decided to close the infringement procedures against the two Member States.
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