EC Annual Report on Bulgaria: Unlimited Powers of Prosecutor General Is still Issue
The new law concerning the accountability and criminal liability of the Prosecutor General and his or her deputies has been declared unconstitutional and challenges remain, 2021 report on the Rule of Law situation in Bulgaria, presented by the European Commission together with reports on the other EU member states on July 20, says.
The document reads further that "the Inspector General and the Inspectors of the Inspectorate to the Supreme Judicial Council continue their work despite their mandate ending in April 2020.
The promotion regime within the judiciary raises concerns as appointments of judges to higher positions have not been carried out as per the ordinary procedure of open competition.
Despite legislative efforts, digitalisation of justice is still lagging behind in practice. Efficiency of the administrative justice system is showing significant progress."
Lack of transparency of media ownership also remains a source of concern.
The working environment and safety of journalists do not appear to have improved.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected media plurality and protection of journalists in economic terms, particularly when it comes to regional journalism, but no specific support measures have been put in place, the report says.
The EC's annual Rule of Law Report presents a synthesis of both the rule of law situation in the EU and an assessment of the situation in each Member State. Until 2020, reforms in Bulgaria in areas including justice and corruption were followed by the European Commission through the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism.
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