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April 18, 2021

Mark Gray: EC report on Bulgaria, Romania possibly out in August

EC Spokesman Mark Gray is quoted by Novinite.com website as saying the European Commission’s report on justice reform, corruption and organized crime in Bulgaria and Romania would be most likely published in August. By that, he denied speculations suggesting the report would be out on July 22. Mark Gray is spokesman for the Commission on matters of connection with the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism – a tool by which the European executive body monitors the progress Bulgaria and Romania make in the area of justice reforms, fight against corruption and organised crime. ‘We have always tried to poison ourselves outside of the political area’, Gray states in an interview with BGNEX news agency, adding it was important that Bulgaria fulfils its existing commitments towards the EU for the befit of its own citizens. The European official noted a ‘disappointing’ phenomenon in Bulgaria, namely the country seems to be more concerned about when the following report will be published than whether it will be positive of negative or if it will be more favorable than the one on Romania, overlooking major issues in respect of the quality of actual reforms. Gray praised the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice for its judicial reform strategy and for the amendments made to the Code of Criminal Procedure, saying that the Bulgarian Parliament should make concerted efforts in order to improve the law on competing interests and the law on public funding. On the other hand, the spokesman of the EC criticised persistent shortcomings in the jurisprudence of Bulgarian courts.

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