EC: Corruption Remains Widespread in Bulgaria

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | February 3, 2014, Monday // 14:06
EC: Corruption Remains Widespread in Bulgaria: EC: Corruption Remains Widespread in Bulgaria European home affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, from Sweden, photo EPA/BGNES

Fighting corruption has long been a priority for Bulgaria, and legal reforms have resulted in the establishment of new structures, however, corruption remains widespread.

This is written in the section about Bulgaria in the first ever anti-corruption report of the European Commission.

EC suggests that Bulgaria should shield anti-corruption institutions from political influence and appoint their management in a transparent, merit-based procedure.

As in the report under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) random assignment of cases in courts is again mentioned as having to be ensured by an effective nationwide system.

The Commission further suggests that a code of ethics is adopted for members of the National Assembly, and that dissuasive sanctions for corruption in public procurement are enforced at national and local level.

Alongside an analysis of the situation in each EU Member State, the European Commission is also presenting two extensive opinion polls of Eurostat.

More than three quarters of European citizens, and 84 percent or Bulgarians, agree that corruption is widespread in their home country. Four percent of Europeans, and 11 percent of Bulgarians, say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year. And only 9 percent of Bulgarians - the lowest percentage in the EU - consider that there are sufficient prosecutions to deter people from corrupt practices.

In its official press release, EC notes that corruption continues to be a challenge for Europe.

The report shows that both the nature and level of corruption, and the effectiveness of measures taken to fight it, vary from one Member State to another. It also shows that corruption deserves greater attention in all Member States, EC says.

This is illustrated by the results of a Eurobarometer survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards corruption published today. The survey shows that three quarters (76%) of Europeans think that corruption is widespread and more than half (56%) think that the level of corruption in their country has increased over the past three years. One out of twelve Europeans (8%) say they have experienced or witnessed a case of corruption in the past year.

The report was presented at a press conference by Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom.

The full annex on Bulgaria read HERE.

The national highlights read HERE.

The entire report can be found HERE.

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Tags: Code of Ethics, National Assembly, random assigment of cases, CVM, European Commission, anti-corruption, report, corruption, Cecilia Malmstrom, member state, member states
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