Bulgaria sent on July 18 a request for close cooperation with the European Central Bank (ECB) on banking supervision as part of the country's commitments taken in a Letter of Intent for participation in the ERM II, the finance ministry said on Wednesday. Bulgaria intends to enter the mechanism for close cooperation and ERM II simultaneously. The request contains, as an annex, draft legislative texts regulating the role of the ECB in the national framework on supervision of banking financial institutions as from the date of the beginning of the close cooperation, the finance ministry said in a statement."At present the Ministry of Finance, the BNB and the ECB are coordinating a draft of these texts, which will be submitted to the ECB for a formal opinion," the statement reads. The ECB is expected to conclude its comprehensive assessment within approximately one year after Bulgaria's formal application for close cooperation. In May this year, the ECB and the European Commission said the country is not prepared to join the eurozone as it does not meet all criteria.