The Parliament has passed on first reading a bill to amend the Ministry of the Interior Act. The bill envisages that Border Police General Directorate authorities will be entitled to undertake operational and search activities and investigate crimes within their functional competence across the country. The amendments to the Ministry of the Interior Act have been proposed by the Council of Ministers and approved on first reading by 98 MPs, with 48 against and 17 abstentions.
According to the promoters of the bill, these measures are necessary because of the increased migration pressure, which gives rise to different cases. Police authorities will be also entitled to accompany persons holding an Order for Temporary Accommodation pursuant to the Aliens Act.
In addition, the amendments introduce the concept of “eCall” in accordance with national and EU legislation. This is an automatic emergency call to 112 from a motor vehicle in order to establish a telephone connection between the passengers and the most suitable emergency service.
At the plenary session the MPs passed on first reading amendments to the Criminal Code to incriminate the illegal mining of underground natural resources on the territory of the country.
The Parliament also passed on first reading a new bill on private security, introduced by the Council of Ministers. Out of a total of 124 votes, 91 were for, 10 against and 23 abstained. The main arguments for the new bill are the changed economic reality resulting from Bulgaria’s membership in the EU, and the change in the socio-political and socio-economic development.
The MPs discussed the report on the state of defence and armed forces in 2016 and dismissed a bill amending the Political and Civil Reinstatement Act.