EC CVM Report: Bulgaria's Progress Is Fragile
The European Commission in its report on Bulgaria which was officially presented Wednesday spokesman Mark Gray criticizes the lack of progress in the fight against corruption and the judicial system.
In the 13th consecutive report under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) since Bulgaria's accession to the EU since 2007, there are a number of negative findings and the conclusion is that "overall progress is limited and fragile."
The criticism addresses mainly weaknesses in the judicial system, the lack of large-scale trials and convictions for corruption and organized crime.
Positives include some improvements in appointment procedures, some useful managerial steps by the Prosecutor General and some progress by the Supreme Judicial Council on the workload.
Concrete recommendations comprise implementing the Prosecutor's Office action plan within the deadlines; effective realization of court rules; overcoming the avoidance of serving court sentences; having one institution to fight corruption and high-profile crime and improving work on decisions regarding tackling conflict of interest, among others.
The next CVM report is due in about one year, said Gray.
He stressed that this is not a report on the work of the current or previous governments, adding the EC expected that the Cabinet in Bulgaria will take the report seriously and will work together with the EC on achieving progress.
Gray also pointed out that there should be no connection between the Wednesday report and Bulgaria's joining of Schengen.
Gray declined making any assessment of any Bulgarian government.
The CVM report on Romania was also presented Wednesday and it is more positive than the one on Bulgaria.
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