21 July 2021

Position of the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria on 2021 European Commission Rule of Law Report in EU Member States

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The leadership of the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria assesses 2021 European Commission Rule of Law Report in EU Member States as realistic.

The Commission presented today, 20 July 2021, the second Rule of Law Report in EU Member States.

The positive assessment given by the European Commission for the existence of "enhanced investigative activity" in Bulgaria is satisfactory.

It reaffirms the contribution of the Specialized Prosecutor's Office and the Appellate Specialized Prosecutor's Office in increasing the number of law cases concerning the fight against high-level corruption and organized crime.

The assessment of the progress made regarding the financial and staffing of the specialized justice is also accepted as positive.

It is also positive that for the second successive year the Commission has not submitted a report on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism.

This is indicative of the irrevocability of the progress made by the Republic of Bulgaria in the field of justice reform and the fight against organized crime and corruption.

At the same time, as a challenge for the Prosecution, we find the position expressed by the EC that "final sentences in high-profile cases remain low and in this regard a stable practice of final sentences remains to be established."

The Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office has repeatedly shared expert opinions on the need for legislative changes that would limit the severe formalism in the criminal process in our country, as well as the need for further updating the new realities of criminal law.

We fully share the recommendation of the EC for the introduction of an explicit regulation of lobbying activities and we expect that these issues will be in the focus of attention of representatives of the legislative and executive power.

We are convinced that only constructive interaction between all responsible institutions can provide the necessary consensus to meet the recommendations in the 2021 European Commission Rule of Law Report.

The Prosecutor's Office will continue to contribute to the reform of the judiciary, while defending its independence as the greatest guarantee for the rule of law in the Republic of Bulgaria.

The leadership of the Prosecutor's Office of Republic of Bulgaria expresses its gratitude to all prosecutors, investigators and judicial officials, whose daily work contributes to the establishment of Bulgaria as a state governed by the rule of law.