Bulgaria May End Up Alone under Brussels’ Monitoring – British Ambassador
Bulgaria may end up as the only country against which the Co-Operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) of the European Commission is applied, according to British Ambassador to Bulgaria Jonathan Allen.
In a Thursday interview for bTV, he suggested that CVM reports on Romania may be dropped, with Bulgaria remaining the sole country to have its judiciary and home affairs monitored by Brussels.
The comments of the British Ambassador confirmed widely held expectations of a negative CVM report on Bulgaria at the end of January.
The British Ambassador noted that sending former ministers and agency heads to prison, just as Romania had done, would indicate that Bulgaria had independent institutions which had not become subject to political pressure.
Jonathan Allen, as cited by dnevnik.bg, underscored that monitoring reports of the European Commission kept indicating the noncompliance of Bulgaria’s judiciary with EU standards for an eight year in a row.
He argued that the best reason to introduce changes was because the Bulgarian people wanted it and not because Brussels demanded it.
Jonathan Allen said that he and six other EU ambassadors had expressed concern about the state of the judiciary in an open letter released on December 21, 2014 first and foremost to protect the interest of Bulgarian society.
He said that the letter had not been issued to take sides in a concrete argument but to stress that the criticism voiced by renowned experts had to be heard.
Jonathan Allan went on to say that the British investors that were already working in Bulgaria were pleased with their industrious and well-educated Bulgarian employees and with the low tax rates, yet they were concerned by the constant legislative changes, the lack of transparency in public procurement, and the lack of certainty that the court would come up with a fair, unbiased, and timely ruling on their case.
He also thanked the Bulgarian authorities for their cooperation in the efforts to stem the flow of terrorists from the EU to Syria.
As regards the deadly attack against the offices of Paris-based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, he emphasized that terrorists did not represent Islam and Muslims but stood for themselves only.
Jonathan Allen suggested that solidarity was the most important response in such cases as terrorists sought to create a conflict in Europe.
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