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Environment impact assessment to become mandatory in shale gas prospecting
11/04/2012
Apart from the extraction stage, environment impact assessment shall be mandatory at the prospecting stage as well regarding unconventional hydrocarbons, including shale gas. This is provided for by the amendments to the Environment Protection Law passed at second reading by the Parliament.

The National Assembly elected Daniela Daritkova (PG of GERB PP) Chairperson of the Parliamentary health Committee to replace Desislava Atanasova who was appointed Minister of Health. The M.P.s elected Galina Mileva (PG of GERB PP) Deputy Chairperson of the Health Committee and Svetoslav Mihaylov and Stanka Shaylekova – members of the Committee. The Parliament adopted changes, as proposed by the PG of GERB PP, in the chairmanship and composition of other committees as well. Dian Chervenkondev was elected Deputy Chairman of the Economic Policy, Energy and Tourism Committee, whereas Georgi Andonov and Dobroslav Dimitrov joined the committee as members. Plamen Rusev was released from the committee. Emil Radev became part of the Committee for Combating Corruption and Conflict of Interests and Parliamentary Ethics replacing M. P. Nikolay Kotsev from the PG of GERB PP who has relinquished the Parliament. The Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Complaints and Citizens’ Petitions Krasimira Simeonova and Ivan Bozhilov were released from the committee. Snezhana Dukova wa elected as new Deputy Chairperson whereas Petar Daskalov and Valery Angelov joined the committee as members. Changes were made in the Education Committee as well – Georgi Andonov was released with Zlatko Todorov elected to replace him. Dian Chervenkondev was released from the Budget and Finance Committee. Antoniy Krastev and Svetlin Stanchev were elected members of the same committee. The Parliament released Svetlin Tanchev and Krasimir Minchev from the Foreign Policy and Defence Committee and replaced them with Angel Daskalov and Mihail Nikolovski.  Krasimira Simeonova joined as member the Labor and Social Policy Committee replacing Angel Daskalov. Mihail Nikolovski and Emil Radev were released from the EU Affairs and EU Funds Oversight Committee. The M.P.s elected as new members of the committee Alexander Stoykov and Plamen Rusev. Changes were also made to some of the permanent parliamentary delegations of the National Assembly.  

The endorsement of foster family candidates shall be performed by a Foster Care Commission that is to be set up with the Regional Directorate for Social Assistance, was decided by the Parliament. The M.P.s adopted at second reading amendments to the Social Assistance Law amending the Child Protection Law. The Regional Directorates for Social Assistance shall keep a registry of endorsed foster families. The law defines the concept ‘foster care’ social service. It covers the activities for recruiting and assessment of foster families, training, mutual adaptation, support and monitoring of the child raising. Provider of the ‘foster care’ social service can be the ‘Social Assistance’ Directorate, a municipality or a licensed provider of social services for children. The rules and order for applying, selection and endorsement of foster families and accommodation of children with them, as well as the composition, organization and functions of the Foster Care Commission shall be defined by an ordinance issued by the Council of Ministers at a proposal by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs. After a child is accommodated with a foster family, the latter shall enter into a contractual agreement with the provider of the foster care social service. Until now such a contract used to signed between the foster parents and the Director of the Social Assistance Directorate by present address of the foster family.      
The Parliament passed at first reading amendments to the Law on Healthcare introducing a ban on tobacco smoking in indoor public venues. 99 M.P.s voted for the bill, 4 were against and 10 abstained. The bill was moved by the Council of Ministers. The Cabinet proposes the ban on tobacco smoking in indoor public venues as well as at explicitly listed outdoor public places 9school yards, crèches and kindergartens, specialized institutions providing social services to children and school boarding houses) to enter into force as of June 1, 2012. The bill further provides for a ban on the sales of energy drinks to persons under the age of 18 as well as a ban on energy drink commercials addressing this particular age group. It is also foreseen to close down the Expert Physicians Commissions for Children while the certification and recertification of children aged up to 16 years shall be performed by the general compositions of the Territorial Expert Physicians Commissions which shall also include pediatricians.
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