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EU Urges Bulgaria, Romania to Reform Judiciaries

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TEHRAN, July 21 (ICANA) – The European Commission has put maximum pressure on Bulgaria and Romania to reform their law enforcement systems.
Thursday, July 21, 2011 11:16:26 PM
EU Urges Bulgaria, Romania to Reform Judiciaries

In a set of crucial reports, Brussels officials say that mere political will is not enough, but new legislation should be implemented to curb the wide-spread corruption and crime. On these fronts Bulgaria loses up to 2 billion euros annually.

On top of her agenda, Minister Popova has put the establishment of a specialized court for high-level corruption and crime cases, the election of a state commission to sanction conflicts of interest, and the adoption of a law on asset forfeiture. But experts fear these are likely to remain just good intentions.

As an illustration, the EU Commission is critical over the fact that essential legislation, proposed by the government, namely on the anticipated crimes tribunal and the confiscation of illegally gained property, was recently rejected in Parliament.

That's what the Commissioner was mostly involved with during a recent visit to Bulgaria.

The so called “Cooperation and Verification Mechanism” is an unprecedented political tool established to monitor exclusively Bulgaria and Romania. But the two East European countries believe this leverage denies them full and equal EU membership, and want the reports to stop as of 2012.

Experts, in turn, also doubt the political impact and moral value of such assessments, as for instance, the report says that in 2010 a number of acquittals exposed serious deficiencies in Bulgaria's judiciary.

In this light, the latest wire-tapping scandals exposing top politicians who cover up for large-scale businesses in Bulgaria and ex-agents of the repressive regime who remain in various high offices, also found their way into the report.

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