The Republic of Bulgaria is situated in South Eastern Europe and
lies within the Balkan Peninsula. It is bordered by Romania,
Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece and
Turkey, and is bounded by the Black Sea coast to the east. The
country has an area of almost 111,000 sq km and a population
of 7.6 million. The capital city of Sofia is located in the west of
the country close to the Serbian border, and has around 1.5 million
Bulgaria is a parliamentary democracy since 1990. A NATO member
since 2004, Bulgaria joined the European Union on 1 January 2007.
The single-chamber National Assembly consists of 240 national
representatives. The Head of State is the President, Mr Georgi
Parvanov, who is currently serving his second five year term
following his re-election in 2006.
The country has experienced macroeconomic stability and strong
growth since the late 1990s. Recent years have witnessed a rapid
increase in the levels of foreign direct investment into Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian language uses the Cyrillic alphabet. While English is
spoken in the Capital, major cities and in tourist resorts, it is
not otherwise widely spoken.
The currency used is the Bulgarian Lev, and it has an exchange rate
of approximately BGN2 to €1.