European Chief Prosecutor Kovesi arrives in Bulgaria

Photo: EU

European Chief Prosecutor Laura Kovesi arrived on a two-day visit to Bulgaria on Thursday, the press office of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) confirmed. The EPPO began work on 1 June. Twenty-two EU Member States participate in the enhanced cooperation. Bulgaria is the first official visit of Kovesi to a member country. Tomorrow, she is set to give a press conference at the House of Europe in Sofia.

Bulgaria is represented in the new body by European Prosecutor Teodora Georgieva (elected to the position in July of last year) along with only four other delegated prosecutors.

At the beginning of February, the College of Prosecutors elected 10 candidates for European delegated prosecutors. However, the European Public Prosecutor's Office approved only four of them. The rest were rejected for not meeting the eligibility criteria.

Laura Kovesi asked Bulgaria to fill the quota, but the College of Prosecutors suspended the ongoing procedure as none of the other candidates received support of six or more votes, as the rules state they should. The members of the College of Prosecutors will now have to decide whether to start a new procedure, which can be done only after the decision to suspend the previous one takes effect.

Laura Kovesi headed Romania's National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) before becoming the first ever European Chief Prosecutor. She won her case before the European Court of Human Rights, which stemmed from a claim she filed against the Romanian state over her removal as head of the DNA. The court in Strasbourg ruled that the government had violated her right of fair legal proceedings and her freedom of expression.

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