EU Commission to Slam Bulgaria's Fragile Progress in Corruption, Crime Combat - Report

Bulgaria in EU | January 21, 2014, Tuesday // 14:24|  views

EC President Jose Manuel Barroso is pictured here reacting during a press statement on recent developments in Romania and Bulgaria, at the EC headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 18 July 2012. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Seven years after joining the European Union, Bulgaria is still making only a fragile and limited progress in its combat against fraud, corruption and organized crime, the European Commission will say in its monitoring report on Bulgaria, according to local media.

A special monitoring system for both countries, set up when Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU because of concerns that they weren't ready, is to be extended at least for one more year, local media, which obtained the draft report, said on Tuesday.

Following publication of the report on Wednesday Bulgaria is expected to be given 16 recommended tasks to carry out, similar to those from the previous report, which was issued in July 2012.

The European Commission will publish monitoring reports on Bulgaria and Romania's progress under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) on January 22.

It will cover for the first time a one-year period in which three governments have succeeded.

Normally the reports on the country's progress under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) cover a 6-month period.

This has prompted experts to say that Bulgarian authorities are more relaxed about this report since the political responsibility will be split among key political players.

The cabinet of Boyko Borissov resigned in February last year following boisterous public protests in Sofia and several other cities over the price of electricity.

A caretaker government, led by Marin Raykov took charge until early elections were held on 12 May, installing a minority government led by Plamen Oresharski.

The next Commission report on Bulgaria's progress will be issued in about a year.

In its previous monitoring report on Bulgaria, issued in July 2012, the Commission called for more judicial integrity, saying judicial appointments, appraisals and promotions need to be "transparent and objective".

"The fight against high-level corruption and organised crime still has to show convincing results," it said in its report.

Bulgaria has made "an important investment in the structures to fight organised crime, leading to the creation of specialised bodies at the level of the judiciary and police, as well as major steps to improve the legal framework for asset forfeiture", the Commission said.

But it urged Bulgaria to go further, saying there have been too many delays and inconsistencies.

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Tags: EU, CVM, European Commission, European Commision, progress report, cooperation and verification mechanism, Laurent Fabius, Sotir, Tsatsarov, Bulgaria, government, Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, Jose Manuel Barroso, president, Delyan Peevski, Romania, European Union


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