Bulgarian Prosecutor General meets with EC's First VP

Bulgarian Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov held a working meeting with Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission (EC), in Brussels on Monday. The talks focused on the actions needed for the implementation of the recommendations the EC made in its January 2017 and November 2018 reports under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), the Prosecutor General's press centre said.

An emphasis was put on the progress made in the Bulgarian judicial system's reform. The participants also discussed the problems still in the process of resolution, as well as the next steps and measures that need to be taken, including through legislative changes.
Tsatsarov informed Timmermans of the results from the fight against corruption and organized crime, and acquainted him with ongoing investigations. The work of the Judiciary's specialized bodies was also on the agenda. The activity of the Specialized Prosecution Office was assessed as successful, particularly after the broadening of its competency to include high-level corruption cases, Tsatsarov's press centre said.
At a news conference after his meeting with Tsatsarov, Timmermans said that the EC is in a constructive debate with the Bulgarian authorities about implementing its recommendations under the CVM. In his words, Bulgaria is making progress but there is still a tremendous load of work to do.
He told journalists that the meeting with the Prosecutor General was aimed at discussing the necessary steps for the recommendations' implementation. He said he was reassured by Tsatsarov's words that the Bulgarian authorities are intent on implementing the recommendations. "Where they [Bulgaria and Romania] come from is a pretty gloomy place originally, in 2007 when we started with the CVM. So, there is still a lot of work to do but the Bulgarian authorities are engaged and doing that work," he noted.
Commenting on the scandal with allegedly underpriced apartments of high-ranking Bulgarian politicians, Timmermans said he and Tsatsarov discussed this issue. "There are officials under investigation, people who have resigned from high offices, so of course there is reason to follow this closely," he said.

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