Only 6 Bulgarian MEPs supported the Istanbul Convention

World » EU | May 10, 2023, Wednesday // 16:24
Bulgaria: Only 6 Bulgarian MEPs supported the Istanbul Convention

Today, only six out of a total of 17 Bulgarian MEPs supported the accession of the EU to the Istanbul Convention for the Prevention and Combating of Violence against Women.

Radan Kanev from "Democratic Bulgaria" and the European People's Party (EPP), three representatives from DPS and the liberal group "Renew Europe", as well as Sergey Stanishev and Elena Yoncheva from the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (SiD) voted "for".

Only Angel Dzhambazki from IMRO and the group of European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) was against.

Asim Ademov, Alexander Yordanov and Andrey Novakov (GERB/EPP) abstained.

Andrey Kovachev, Eva Maydell and Emil Radev (GERB/EPP), Petar Vitanov, Tsvetelina Penkova and Ivaylo Hristov (BSP/SiD) and Andrey Slabakov (IMRO/ECR) did not participate in the vote.

The probable reason why all 10 of our MEPs do not support the accession of the EU to the Istanbul Convention is the fact that it has been declared unconstitutional in our country.

The vote

With today's vote, the European Parliament has ended its participation in the process.

Six years after the EU signed the Istanbul Convention, it still has not ratified it due to the refusal of 6 member states, including Bulgaria.

At the same time, the opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) dated October 6, 2021 confirmed that the EU can ratify the Istanbul Convention without the consent of all member states.

The Court found that the appropriate scope for EU accession was asylum, judicial cooperation in criminal matters and the obligations of EU institutions and public administration. Accordingly, MEPs held two separate votes today.

  • Regarding EU institutions and public administration - with 472 votes "for", 62 "against" and 73 "abstentions";
  • Regarding judicial cooperation in criminal matters, asylum and non-refoulement - with 464 votes "for", 81 "against" and 45 "abstentions".

In both cases, the Bulgarian MEPs voted in the same way, it is clear from the check of the roll-call vote.

The accession of the EU to the Istanbul Convention does not release the member states from the obligation to ratify it themselves, the members of the EP have repeatedly stated.

Last week, sources from the European Commission told Bulgarian media "Club Z" that Bulgaria would have to comply with the Istanbul Convention, even if it had not signed it, if the EU ratified it.

The Istanbul Convention is yet to be approved by the member states (Council) of the EU. According to the Court's decision, this can be done not by unanimity, but by a qualified majority.

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Tags: Bulgarian, Istanbul Convention, Bulgaria, MEP

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