Bulgaria Joins EU in '07 Despite Judiciary Safeguard Clause

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | March 24, 2006, Friday // 00:00

The EU rapporteur for Bulgaria Geoffrey van Orden did not leave out the possibility of the enforcement of a safeguard clause for Bulgaria in the justice and home affairs field.

Bulgaria might join the EU on January 1, 2007 with some limitations, including a safeguard clause in the justice and home affairs field, Van Orden said in London.

He commented for local Darik radio that Bulgaria's people should be confident with their police and their judicial system. Geoffrey van Orden added that it would be very disappointing if in two months it appeared that Bulgaria's authorities have not done their job.

In the beginning of the week it appeared that European Commission experts have proposed the enforcement of a safeguard clause for Bulgaria in the justice and home affairs field. Brussels objected to the increased competence of the executive power against that of the judiciary, as envisaged by constitutional amendments adopted by parliament at second reading.

The European experts frowned at legislative regulations, which entitle parliament to cut short the term of Supreme Court heads with a two-third majority and give it the right to approve reports of the three supreme magistrates.

The justice and home affairs safeguard clause may be applied if there are serious, or imminent risks of serious shortcomings in the transposition or implementation of EU rules relating to mutual recognition in the area of criminal law or civil matters by a new Member State.

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