DECREE 234 of 16.06.2012 RETURNING TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY THE ACT AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE FORESTRY ACT Promulgated in State Gazette No. 47 of June 22 2012
Pursuant to Art. 101, para. 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria
I am referring back to the National Assembly the Act amending the Judiciary Act, approved by the 41st National Assembly on June 13 2012
Published in Sofia on June 16 2012
For referring back to the National Assembly the Act amending the Forest Act, approved by the National Assembly on June 13 2012
The Act Amending and Supplementing the Forestry Act adopted on June 13 2012, on the one hand, aims to promote regional development, tourism and sport and to facilitate the implementation of measures to protect against the harmful effects of rivers to prevent natural disasters. On the other hand, the law creates a reasonable suspicion of non-compliance with the fundamental principles of the Constitution and the rights of citizens, contrary to the rules of the European Union and in favour of unbalanced decisions that will mean irreversible consequences for the environment. Preserving, protecting and improving the quality of nature and natural resources is not only a national goal, but also a European one.
As Head of State, I have repeatedly argued for policies that create a favourable and predictable environment for economic development and lead to the development of modern infrastructure. Provision should be made for mountain areas to develop as other regions have done. Tourism, particularly winter tourism, is one of the few opportunities for people living in these areas are living to remain in their ancestral homes. Bulgarian nature provides a unique opportunity for our country to become a centre of ski tourism in the region, which should not be squandered.
These objectives can be achieved by legislative solutions that ensure the protection of the environment, along with diversity of wildlife (Article 15 of the Constitution), the protection of land and its use for agricultural purposes (Article 21 of the Constitution). Last but not least, to ensure the right of citizens to a healthy and favourable environment as recognized by Art. 55 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria. It is a responsibility not only to citizens and society now, but also towards future generations.
The reaction of the Bulgarian citizens against some of the provisions of the adopted law shows that Bulgarian society has not reached agreement on the rules for the use, maintenance and exercise of ownership of agricultural land and forests. This reaction is justified, given the shortage of dialogue before the adoption of the law. Imposing unilateral decisions will not build trust, or lead to a law aimed at results. Without the active participation of civil society, it is not justified to adopt rules that in the long term will affect the national treasures of Bulgaria.
The Constitution gives me the right to return a bill for further debate, and in this case, I am exercising this right and challenging the law in general. I think we need to completely rethink the changes and the veto will allow an understanding on such important national issues. I hope that renewed discussion of the law will be carried out through a dialogue involving public authorities, local authorities, civil society and business. This is the basis for an agreement to develop winter sports and regions, but at the same time protect and propagate the environment. The amendments to the Forest Act that have been adopted do not guarantee that the best combination has been achieved.
Guided by the above reasoning, on the basis of Art. 101, para. 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria Act, I am referring back the Act Amending the Supplementing the Forestry Act for further consideration by the National Assembly.