Bulgaria's CVM Report to be Most Critical of Supreme Judicial Council, Prosecution
According to a draft of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) report, the document will be most criticial towards the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) and the prosecutor's office.
Initial reports suggested that the European Commission will be mostly positive in its assessment of Bulgarian reforms in justice and internal affairs.
The report calls for conducting an independent check on the activities of the prosecution as foreseen in the adopted strategy on judicial reform.
It also demands for a less hierarchical culture in the prosecution and making the institution more accountable, daily Dnevnik informs.
The report shows the need for deeper reform of the prosecution, which is evidenced by the lack of results in the fight against high-level corruption and organised crime.
As regards VSS, it notes the absence of transparency in its appointments, lack of consistency in its disciplinary practices and potential manipulation with the allocation of cases.
The report assesses the division of VSS into two colleges as a step forward, but the allocation of quotas is seen as increasing the political dependence the court and making the prosecution less accountable.
The document also notes the pros and cons of the adopted amendments to the constitution concerning the reform of the judiciary which differed to those initially suggested.
The European Commission highlights the need for adoption of the anti-corruption and judiciary laws.
The election of Lozan Panov as chairperson of the Supreme Court of Cassation (VKS) and the changes in Sofia City Court (SGS) are identified as positive steps.
It also assesses positively the idea of new Justice Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva for establishing a judicial reform council to the government.
The documents recommends implementation of the judicial reform strategy and the law on judiciary devised by the justice ministry.
The European Commission notes that Bulgaria remains among the countries with the highest levels of corruption.
The failure to adopt the anti-corruption law raises doubts about the level of political will to fight high-level corruption.
The report will be officially unveiled and adopted on Wednesday.
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