Bulgarian President Commends Romanian Judicial System
President Rosen Plevneliev commended the Romanian judicial system and the country's efforts in tackling corruption at the highest levels, admitting that Bulgaria was lagging behind in this respect.
Following a meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Plevneliev pointed to the several instances of the sentencing of former ministers in Bulgaria's northern neighbour, daily Dnevnik repors.
Plevneliev, who is on a one-day official visit to Bucharest, is the first Head of State to visit Iohannis, following the latter's inauguration in December 2014.
Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov, who has been in Romania since Thursday and met with his Romanian colleague Bogdan Aurescu, is also part of the Bulgarian delegation.
Plevneliev noted that on an annual basis there are over 860 000 judicial rulings in Bulgaria, 94 % of which are upheld at the next instance.
The problem lies in less than 100 lawsuits, which are of high public interest, but no developments have been made on them.
The Head of State said that he observed some positive developments in the judiciary, pointing to the latest decisions of the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) and the dismissal of Vladimira Yaneva as chair of the Sofia City Court (SGS).
Iohannis revealed that Romania carried out the reforms since it believed in their necessity rather than because the country aimed at receiving good reports under the CVM mechanism.
In his opinion, the Romanian citizens will be the first to benefit from the reforms in the judiciary before the European partners do so.
Following their meeting, it became clear that Bulgaria and Romania are not expecting endless postponement to their accession into the Schengen Area.
Plevneliev highlighted that Bulgaria has fulfilled the technical requirements and the border with Turkey was safeguarded at a level higher than many other external borders of the EU.
He expressed opposition to the idea of linking the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) with the accession to the Schengen Area, as the two did not have much in common.
Iohannis added that active and constructive dialogue will be sought with the European partners in order to highlight the two countries' readiness to join the Schengen Area.
After the meeting, it emerged that the two heads of state discussed common projects in the fields of economy and transport as well as cultural and educational transborder cooperation.
Iohannis revealed that educational projects for the Bulgarian minority in Romania and the Romanian diaspora in Bulgaria were being prepared.
Plevneliev is later to meet Bulgarians residing in Romania, representatives of the local business and Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta.
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