site.btaProsecutor General Ivan Geshev Meets with MEPs in Brussels

Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev Meets with MEPs in Brussels
Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev Meets with MEPs in Brussels
Geshev (left) and Lenaers (Prosecution Service photo)

The challenges to the rule of law in Bulgaria were discussed by Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev during the second day of his working visit to the European Parliament in Brussels. 

Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev and Sergey Lagodinsky, Member of the European Parliament from the Greens/European Free Alliance group, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs and member of the LIBE Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG) of the European Parliament, discussed the ways in which the Bulgarian state and in particular the prosecution service prevent attempts to promote foreign interests in the countries of the European Union, including Bulgaria. In this regard, attention was drawn to the active work of the prosecutor's office in investigating the illegal granting of Bulgarian passports to foreigners in exchange for investments - the so-called "golden passports". 

The risks involved in defending the independence of magistrates was a main focus of the conversation between Prosecutor General Geshev and Jeroen Lenaers, coordinator of the EPP group in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Geshev pointed out that due to the retreat from the rule of law Bulgaria needs to strengthen the European presence in the country. This would also have the effect of a barrier against attempts to promote foreign interests, including Russian ones, which aim to change the country's Euro-Atlantic orientation. Ivan Geshev noted that the country has been in a political and constitutional crisis for a long time, which has led to the compromise of institutions and their stability. A number of bodies, some of which are part of the judiciary, are out of their functioning mandates or have incomplete composition.

The Prosecutor General highlighted as the most significant risk to the rule of law in Bulgaria the attempts to control the judiciary through political calls for "reform", in which the opinion of the magistrates is absent and which does not comply with the constitutional framework. "A wrong idea of judicial reform is being imposed on society, which ultimately leads to further destabilisation of the judiciary," Ivan Geshev said.

The representative of the European Parliament showed interest in the consequences in Bulgaria of the closure of the specialised justice system. In response, the Prosecutor General said that, unfortunately, the warnings that the judiciary had already put forward during the discussions on the draft laws on the closure of the specialised courts and prosecutor's offices were confirmed.

Geshev briefed Lenaers on the measures taken by the Prosecutor's Office to prevent the use of so-called "golden passports" to circumvent the sanctions imposed on Russia and third countries. He stressed that the competent authorities have been entrusted with carrying out checks on the issued passports, and the President and the Minister of Justice have been informed of the results in order to take the appropriate actions in accordance with their competence.

On the second day of his working visit to the EP Ivan Geshev also had a conversation with Ryszard Czarnecki from the European Conservatives and Reformists Group to discuss the rule of law in Bulgaria and as cases that put at risk the rule of law and European values.




By 14:36 on 03.06.2023 Today`s news

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