PM Points to Commission Vice-President Bulgaria's Political Will to Fight Corruption
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov pointed to EU Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans the political will of the government to fight corruption in the country.
Judicial reform and the measures taken by the institutions in ensuring its irreversibility were among the topics of discussion at the working meeting between Borisov and Timmermans.
The meeting took place in the Bulgarian Black Sea capital of Varna on Thursday and was also attended by Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova and Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov.
Borisov pointed that the judicial reform strategy, proposed by the government, was adopted with wide majority in parliament, the government's press service reports.
In his words, this demonstrated the will of the political players for reaching a sustainable reform in the area.
Borisov reminded that a bill on constitutional amendments was tabled in parliament recently, which aimed to ensure the irreversibility of the reforms.
According to him, the desire for reform in the judicial system was visible among the representatives of the judiciary and the government was working in coordination with them on the specialised legislation.
Borisov informed Timmermans that a specialised unit between the prosecution, the State Agency for National Security (DANS) and the Interior Ministry was established two months ago, which investigated crimes perpetrated by high-level state officials.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister added that bills for single anti-corruption body and amendments to the Judiciary System Act were being developed and were in the process of public discussion.
Timmermans said that the political will was visible in Brussels and commended the government, which was headed in the right direction and was doing the right steps for achieving stability.
The Vice-Presidnet expressed understanding that it was difficult to maintain the balance between preserving the impartiality of the judiciary and simultaneously uprooting the corruption within it.
Borisov also noted the new anti-corruption strategy adopted by the government and the designation of Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva as coordinator on anti-corruption policies.
He added that a national council for development and implementation of policies in the areas of prevention and countering corruption was established.
The government's political will to fight corruption and the results were visible as the measures taken against the grey sector of the economy and the restored confidence of the EU partners resulted in an increase to the state budget of more than BGN 2 B.
Borisov described the policy of the government as balanced with the priority being on the rule of law.
He highlighted the results, which were already visible in the absorption of the EU funds, reminding that his government inherited frozen funds, but managed to catch up in several months.
Borisov expressed confidence that in case the cabinet maintained its pace at least 90 % of the EU funds under the previous programme period will be absorbed by the end of 2015.
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