MEP Emil Radev: EC reaffirms that Bulgaria has complied with the recommendations

Photo: EP Emil Radev.

On Friday, at a discussion held in Brussels on the rule of law in Bulgaria, a representative of the European Commission reaffirmed that our country has complied with the EC recommendations on the monitoring mechanism for fighting organised crime and corruption, Bulgarian MEP Emil Radev (EPP/GERB) commented.

The discussion was organised by the Group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law at the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) in the European Parliament. The Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva, Deputy Minister of Justice Desislava Ahladova, Deputy Prosecutor General Krassimira Filipova, Chairwoman of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination Ana Dzhumalieva, as well as representatives of the European Commission, the Venice Commission and the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), which is the Council of Europe anti-corruption body, took part in it.

Only one journalist was admitted to the discussion, who was selected on an unclear basis by the Group’s leadership - a representative of the website Bivol, which is related to Kremlin propaganda as well as the chairperson of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee Krassimir Kanev and a person from Open Society - Bulgaria, who, however, was in a personal capacity.

It was a closed session, but I learned from the participating colleagues that the representative of the European Commission reaffirmed that Bulgaria has complied with the recommendations of the EC on the monitoring mechanism and he has pointed out the good cooperation with our country, MEP Emil Radev told Monitor News Agency.

"It was also stated that although there are no more reports, the processes in our country continue to be monitored. And this is completely normal - the Bulgarian government has committed after the end of monitoring to create a national monitoring mechanism in cooperation with the EC,” Radev said.

The Venice Commission also determined its cooperation with Bulgaria as good, stating that in practice, the proposals for a new Constitution can overcome the last obstacles to the implementation of its recommendations in full. The Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) also said that they work well with our country, he added.

Radev explained that the focus of the session was the rule of law, and one of the reasons for holding it was the letter from the Association of Prosecutors for pressure on the state prosecution, in violation of the constitutionally guaranteed independence of the judiciary in Bulgaria.

"The purpose of these hearings is to acquaint colleagues from the Rule of Law Group and LIBE with the situation in different countries. Currently, several processes are running in Bulgaria, arousing interest - the protests, the initiative for a new Constitution, and the pressure on magistrates. This situation will continue to be monitored and this is normal. A new report from the European Commission on the rule of law in all Member States is also expected in September. Being a MEP, I have been actively working for such a EU-wide mechanism for several years now and I am glad that the idea of a mechanism covering the rule of law, the state of democracy, the freedom of media is supported - topics that are important for all Member States at the moment."

The meeting also discussed the powers of the Prosecutor General, as well as the ongoing investigations against oligarchs in Bulgaria. Many questions were asked about current legislative changes, which the EC also expected.

Regarding the protests, MEPs condemned the use of gallows and coffins.

“At the same time, I learn from colleagues that among the main issues raised in the discussion, mainly by NGOs, were topics such as the revocation of UMO-Ilinden, discrimination against Roma minority, the rights of the LGBT community, the Istanbul Convention, as it was nearly explained that our country does not have legislation on domestic violence. However, such a statement has nothing to do with the truth. The issue of discrimination against Roma people was also raised, as it was explained that Roma neighbourhoods had been closed during quarantine and that mostly illegal Roma houses had been demolished.

I do not exclude the option that such targeted attempts for attacks against our country within the European Parliament will continue. Let me remind you that a good partnership has already be established between the right-wing Radan Kanev and the leftist Elena Yoncheva, who worked together to initiate an oral hearing a few weeks ago. The initiative belonged to Kanev, who, however, managed to collect only one signature from the EPP - a fact that shows how much trust he enjoys among his colleagues in the group. Thus, Elena Yoncheva came to help him and the other signatures up to 55 were collected among the socialists and the Greens Group. Probably, this is another future coalition at national level, but alas, it works against Bulgaria and mortgages vital projects for our country. The attempts to attack and discredit our country, however, fail at the end," Emil Radev said.

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