EU Mission to Launch Analysis of Bulgarian Prosecution in Late JuneBulgaria in EU | June 2, 2016, Thursday // 17:49| views
Bulgarian Justice Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva. Photo by BGNES
A mission of European Commission experts will arrive in Sofia in late June to analyse the performance of Bulgarian prosecutors in a bid to give a boost to the country's efforts to reform its judicial system.
The mission of four prosecutors – one each from Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK – had been scheduled to start work on Monday but the review was postponed to give more time to sort out and clarify technical details.
“After discussing and unanimously adopting the final technical conditions for the work of the mission, the representatives of Bulgaria and the European Commission agreed that the first visit of the four prosecutors could begin in late June,” the Justice Ministry in Sofia said in a statement on Thursday.
The announcement was made following a meeting in Sofia of Justice Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva and Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov with the ambassadors of Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, as well as a representative of the British Embassy and European Commission officials, according to the statement.
The four prosecutors will be tasked with drafting an independent analysis and evaluation of the structural and functional model of the Prosecutor's Office of Bulgaria. The mission is expected to complete its final report by the end of the year.
The analysis of the mission will encompass the hierarchical structure of Bulgarian prosecution bodies, as well as their integrity, accountability, transparency and workload. The mission will also make an analysis of the place of the Chief Prosecutor within Bulgaria’s judicial system as well a review of specific cases.
Bulgaria’s government requested the EU monitoring of the country’s prosecution following the release of the latest European Comission report under the Cooperation and Verification Mechansim (CVM) in January.
"A stronger sense of initiative and responsibility" was needed "through a less hierarchical culture and strengthening accountability and public trust in the prosecution as a whole," the report said in reference to Bulgarian prosecuting authorities. The CVM report also found a “lack of a solid track record in high-level cases on corruption and organised crime”.