A new report commissioned by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament shows that much more ambition is required in the fight against corruption within Bulgaria and at EU level. The report, which comes shortly after Bulgaria takes on the presidency of the EU, looks at the strong ties between the Bulgarian government, oligarchs, banks and media companies and outlines the weaknesses and dangers of Bulgaria's new anti-corruption law.
Bulgaria is the worst-performing country in the European Union in the fight against corruption (1) and ranked 109 globally in the World Press Freedom Ranking from Reporters without Borders.
Greens/EFA group co-president Ska Keller comments:
“The Bulgarian government must listen to the protests of its citizens who are resisting corruption. Despite some progress, corruption remains a major concern in Bulgaria and needs to be tackled urgently. The recently adopted Anti-Corruption law has been steeped in controversy and we are concerned it could be used to silence critics of the Bulgarian government."
Sven Giegold, who was rapporteur for the European Parliament's report on transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions, adds:
“The European Commission needs to be much more ambitious in the fight against corruption in Member States and should come forward with fresh legislative proposals. The new European Public Prosecutor has the potential to be a strong instrument in the fight against corruption and the mismanagement of cross-border EU funds. The EPPO needs to be ready to go as soon as possible and we expect to see it make Bulgaria a top priority.”
(1) Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index: https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2016#table