A technical nation - well, no
One of the Communist-era slogans was that Bulgaria is a "technically advanced nation", a phrase that is still frequently repeated. But looking at the e-governance penetration rate, Bulgaria is far from deserving this title. In the EU, Bulgarians are only ahead of Romanians and Italians when it comes to obtaining information from the websites of public authorities. Over the past ten years, there has been a significant improvement, but it is dwarfed by the achievements of neighbouring Greece, which in Bulgaria is often regarded as a laggard. Eurostat data shows that only 10% of Bulgarians submit completed forms on-line, a dismal result given that, for example, the option to file tax statements on-line has been available for more than seven years.
Infant mortality: two pieces of bad news
Although the infant mortality rate has remarkably improved in Bulgaria since 1998 - 59% in 2018, it is still 50% higher than the EU average, or the rate in neighbouring Greece. What is more depressing is that in the last twenty years almost all East European member states have done better, with Estonia slashing infant mortality by a staggering 83%. The high mortality rate in Bulgaria is frequently explained by the ethnic minority structure of the Bulgarian society (Romania and Slovakia have similar rates), but this is too convenient an explanation.