EU Commission to Change Monitoring on Bulgaria Next Year
A more dynamic approach on the issue of monitoring on Bulgaria's judiciary, rule of law and fight against corruption is needed and will be implemented from next year on, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said.
The Commission intends to introduce it "starting from January 2017," he has added in a letter to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
The move "could concern the judiciary (potentially involving the Supreme Judicial Council or the Inspectorate)" as Borisov suggests himself, or "plans to set up a unified anti-corruption institution," Juncker has added.
"I agree that the progress Bulgaria has made over the past years of the [Cooperation and Verification Mechanism] CVM would require taking a more dynamic approach to take full account of the longer-term trends which can be lost in annual reporting cycles," Juncker writes in the text which is an apparent reply to a letter sent by Borisov on October 19.
Each institution needs an understanding of the steps needed to meet the reform goals, he adds.
The Director General of the Structural Reform Support Service, Maarten Verwey, has been tasked by Juncker to "quickly follow up on a possible extend a similar approach to other institutions," in a reference to the Bulgarian Prosecution Office whose activity is being examined by EU experts.
Four EU experts are currently analyzing the work of Bulgarian prosecutors on key cases, amid efforts to reform the judiciary which has been described as inefficient by a number of reports.
Juncker has confirmed that there is "commitment" to lifting the monitoring on Bulgaria by the end of the commission's term, but has tied such a move to ongoing reforms.
"I am confident that under your stewardship Bulgaria will continue its reform path and be in a position to exit the programme when the benchmarks are satisfactorily fulfilled so that such decision is taken before the end of the mandate of this Commission in 2019," Juncker has added.
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