MEPs Adopted a Critical Resolution on Bulgaria's Rule-of-Law
MEPs on Thursday adopted a critical resolution on Bulgaria's rule-of-law failings that targets Boyko Borissov, the country's prime minister, and raises concerns about EU funds fueling high-level corruption in the Balkan country.
Three hundred and fifty eight MEPs voted in favor of a text that denounced the "significant deterioration" of the "rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights" in Bulgaria and singled out Borissov's GERB party over "concerns that tax-payers money is used for the enrichment of circles associated with the ruling party."
Two hundred and seventy seven voted against, and 56 abstained.
The vote was non-binding but is aimed at putting pressure on the Bulgarian government following months of anti-government protests, just as EU institutions are weighing up a mechanism to link disbursement of EU funds to rule-of-law criteria. Opposition politicians and protesters accuse Borissov of allowing an oligarchic mafia to exert influence through key institutions such as the judiciary, media and security services.
Borissov hails from the center-right European People's Party group, which voted against the text.
The EPP failed to introduce amendments that would have watered down the involvement of the prime minister and his party. On the European stage, Borissov is seen as a key ally of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel from the EPP.
"The Parliament is sending a strong signal that we cannot turn a blind eye towards EU countries that have a rule of law and fundamental rights problem," Green MEP Ska Keller said. "The people of Bulgaria deserve to live in a European country free from corruption and where their rights are guaranteed by the rule of law."/Politico
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