The European Commission announced Five Criminal Proceedings against BulgariaEU | September 28, 2023, Thursday // 16:45| views
The European Commission presented today data on the development of criminal procedures against the member states of the community. For Bulgaria, the commission reports that five procedures are underway.
The Commission calls on Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Spain, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia to complete the review of their water management plans. EU countries are to review these plans every six years. Flood risk management plans are drawn up on maps that show the possible adverse effects of flooding, the EC notes.
In February, the commission sent official letters of notification calling on the mentioned countries to fulfill their obligations, taking into account that Bulgaria is among the countries that are late with the review of the plans for the river basins and for the threats of floods. The EC gives two months for an answer, after which it can file a case in the Court of Justice of the EU, the announcement noted.
Procedural rights in criminal proceedings
The European Commission has opened infringement proceedings against Bulgaria, Belgium and Croatia for failing to properly implement European rules to strengthen the presumption of innocence and the right of the accused to be present at the trial in criminal proceedings.
According to Brussels, some national measures in this regard do not meet the requirements for the public reference to guilt (Belgium, Bulgaria and Croatia), for trials in the absence of the suspect or the accused (Belgium and Croatia), the use of physical restraint measures (Croatia); the right of suspects not to incriminate themselves (Croatia and Bulgaria) and the means of legal protection against violations of rights according to European requirements (Belgium and Bulgaria).
According to the EC, the scope of the rules has not been properly implemented in the Bulgarian legislation, according to which the non-detained suspects do not enjoy European rights. Belgium, Bulgaria and Croatia have a period of two months to take the necessary measures to eliminate the identified deficiencies, otherwise, the criminal procedure will continue.
The Commission is continuing the criminal proceedings against Bulgaria and Latvia because they have not properly implemented the European rules on the right to information in criminal proceedings, which provide that suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings, or for whom a European arrest warrant has been issued, receive appropriate information about their rights.
According to the EC, the national measures do not meet the requirements, especially regarding the right of access to the case materials, which are essential for effectively challenging the legality of the detention. The Commission notes that the field of application of the European requirements and the right to information about the rights and provisions of the application for the rights of detention have not yet been properly introduced in Bulgaria. Bulgaria and Latvia have a period of two months to take the necessary measures to eliminate the remaining deficiencies, otherwise, the EC can bring the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.
The EC announced that it is opening infringement proceedings against Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus and Lithuania for not introducing a two-dimensional barcode in the uniform visa format. This barcode was introduced to protect the data on the visa sticker from forgery. On April 30, 2020, all EU countries were notified of the introduction of the barcode.
The deadline for implementation of the decision expired in May 2022, but the four countries mentioned still do not print a two-dimensional barcode on the visas they issue. The four countries have two months to remedy the identified deficiencies, otherwise, the criminal procedure will continue.
The EC continues the criminal procedure against Bulgaria and Cyprus because they have not implemented the European rules for the use of digital opportunities and processes in the field of company law. EU rules require countries to introduce fully online procedures for the establishment of certain types of companies, the registration of cross-border branches and the filing of documents in the business registers. They introduce free access to more data on companies from trade registers through the Trade Register Interconnection System. In September 2022, the commission sent an official notification letter to Bulgaria and Cyprus. Following the responses of the parties, the EC has come to the conclusion that Bulgaria and Cyprus have not communicated national measures that ensure the full implementation of European rules. These countries have a period of two months to remedy the identified deficiencies, after which it is possible for the EC to file a claim against them before the Court of Justice of the EU, the announcement specifies.
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