Bulgaria–Serbia relations

Bulgarian-Serbian relations are foreign relations between Bulgaria and Serbia. They established diplomatic relations on 18 January 1879 as the Principality of Serbia (independent) and Principality of Bulgaria (vassal of the Ottoman Empire which exercised de facto independence). Bulgaria has an embassy in Belgrade. Serbia has an embassy in Sofia. Bulgaria is a European Union member state and Serbia is a European Union candidate.

Bulgarian-Serbian relations



Both countries are full members of the Southeast European Cooperation Process, of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, of the Central European Initiative, of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative and of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. The countries share 318 km of common borderline.

Bulgaria recognized Kosovo[a] as an independent country in 2008, which temporarily strained relations between two nations, however the two countries enjoy good cooperation in the area of culture, as seen in the examples of co-production of Serbian movies.[1]


A meeting of Radev with Vučić.

In 1867, a Bulgarian society, active in Bucharest approached the Serbian state with a draft-agreement. The Bulgarian side proposed the founding of a common Serbo-Bulgarian (Bulgaro-Serbian) dual state called South Slav Tsardom, headed by the Serbian Prince. Serbian Prime minister Garašanin accepted the Bulgarian proposal in a letter from June 1867, but he diplomatically refused to sign the document, fearing how representative this organisation had been.[2] The establishment of this common state concerned other Bulgarian organisations, which perceived it as an implementation of Garašanin's plan called Načertanije.[3][4]

In 2018, Serbia and Bulgaria celebrated 140 years of diplomatic relations.[5][6]

Serbian Presidents Aleksandar Vučić and Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov concluded that the opening of the Balkan Pipeline through Bulgaria and Serbia in 2021 was a "remarkable success of the two fraternal states".[7]

Country comparison

Bulgaria Serbia
Population 7,000,039 7,001,444 (excluding Kosovo)
Area 110,993.6 km2 (42,823 sq mi) 88,361 km2 (34,116 sq mi ) (including Kosovo)
77,474 km2 (29,913 sq mi) (excluding Kosovo)
Population Density 64.9 /km2 (185 /sq mi) 91,1/km2 (238/sq mi)
Capital Sofia Belgrade
Largest City Sofia - 1,238,438 (1,681,592 Metro) Belgrade - 1,233,796 (1,683,962 Metro)
Government Parliamentary republic Parliamentary republic
Current leader President Rumen Radev
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov
President Aleksandar Vučić
Prime Minister Ana Brnabić
Official languages Bulgarian Serbian
Main religions 82.64% Eastern Orthodox Christians, 12.20% Islam, 0.55%
Catholic Christians, 0.53% Protestant Christians, 0.19% Other, 3.57%
Does not self-identify,
0.31% Not shown
84.59% Eastern Orthodoxy, 4.97% Catholicism, 3.10% Islam,
0.99% Protestantism, 1.11% No religion, 5.24% others (excluding Kosovo)
Ethnic groups 84% Bulgarians, 9% Turkish, 5% Roma and 2%
other groups
83.3% Serbs, 3.5% Hungarians, 2.1% Roma, 2% Bosniaks,
9% other groups (excluding Kosovo)
GDP (nominal) $67.917 billion ($9,826 per capita)[8] $52 billion ($7,497 per capita) (excluding Kosovo)[8]

See also


a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently recognized as an independent state by 96 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 113 UN member states are said to have recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.


  1. FoNet, Piše (26 June 2019). "Filmski centar: Bugari finansiraju dva filma iz Srbije sa 200.000 evra". Dnevni list Danas (in Serbian). Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  2. Papadrianos, Ioannis: “The First Balkan Alliance (1860–1868) and the Bulgarians,” Balkan Studies, 42 (2001): pp. 15–20.
  3. Crampton 1987, p. 16: "...a Balkan alliance, which alarmed both Bulgarians and Turks with its implications of Serbian expansionism as expounded two decades previously, in Garasanin's Nacertanie, the Serbian equivalent of Greek Megali Idea."
  4. SANU 1993, p. 172: "The result of Nacertumje's implementation was the establishment of the first Balkan alliance (1866–1868)..."
  5. Jovanović, Radomir (20 April 2018). "Srpsko-bugarski diplomatski odnosi: u osvit prvih 140 godina". CMJP (in Serbian). Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  6. К, А. "Сто четрдесет година дипломатских односа Бугарске и Србије". Politika Online. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  7. "Балкански ток изузетан успех две братске државе". Politika Online. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  8. "Report for Bulgaria and Serbia". International Monetary Fund. April 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2019.

Sources and further reading