Netherlands Disappointed with Lack of Progress in Bulgarian JudiciaryBulgaria in EU | July 20, 2013, Saturday // 16:48| views
Dutch Ambassador to Bulgaria Karel van Kesteren. Photo by BGNES
Dutch Ambassador to Bulgaria Karel van Kesteren is not satisfied with the Balkan country’s progress in combating corruption and improving the judiciary.
Bulgaria’s efforts to fight crime and corruption would be key for the country’s Schengen accession bid, the Ambassador reminded in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio.
“The Netherlands agrees that Bulgaria is technically ready to join the Schengen zone,” van Kesteren said.
However, he reiterated that Bulgaria should show enough progress under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism in order to be fully ready to join Schengen.
The Ambassador said he was worried by the appointment of controversial media mogul Delyan Peevski as head of Bulgaria’s powerful national security agency last month.
The appointment was quickly reversed – but it triggered unprecedented mass rallies in Bulgaria, with thousands taking to the streets to demand the government’s resignation for 37 days now.
As a result, several foreign Ambassadors, including Karel van Kesteren, have warned the Bulgarian government that the oligarchic model is incompatible with EU membership.
The Dutch Ambassador said Saturday that the protests were showing the Bulgarian civil society is supporting European values such as openness and transparency.
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