site.btaConference Looks at Scandinavian Good Practices, European Prospects for Countering Corruption, Money Laundering

Conference Looks at Scandinavian Good Practices, European Prospects for Countering Corruption, Money Laundering
Conference Looks at Scandinavian Good Practices, European Prospects for Countering Corruption, Money Laundering
Forum on the European prospects for countering corruption and money laundering, Sofia, Feb. 22, 2024 (Justice Ministry Photo)

A forum held here on Thursday focused on the European prospects for countering corruption and money laundering, and the application of good practices from Scandinavia in Bulgaria. The conference was organized by the embassies of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the Anti-Corruption Fund Foundation (ACF).

Opening the conference, Justice Minister Atanas Slavov said it is key to transition from norms and strategies to application of counter-corruption practices, because legal norms by themselves are insufficient; they are but a framework. If the Government is given more political time, it will do precisely that in the coming months, he added. "The goal we have set ourselves is to have convictions, to have more investigations, to not allow people carrying out their functions in the public or civil sector to be threatened over what they do," Slavov said, as quoted by his ministry.

Slavov recalled that the past eight months saw significant constitutional reforms aimed at supporting the Judiciary's independence, introducing accountability of the prosecuting magistracy, and including the reforms in the Judicial System Act. A completely new bill on the Counter-corruption and Unlawfully Acquired Assets Forfeiture Commission was adopted giving the Commission investigative functions as an opportunity to truly fight high-level corruption. Penal Code revisions are underway, the Money Laundering Act was amended, he went on to say. "We are trying to turn into legal norms the specific recommendations that we have received from the Venice Commission and the rule of law reports of the European Commission, MONEYVAL, and GRECO," Slavov said.

According to ACF Director Boyko Stankushev, there is an obvious and pressing need of change in Bulgaria. Instead of politicizing the topic, it is important to have a constructive discussion in Bulgarian society about the factors that can make the fight with corruption much more effective.

Among the speakers of the forum were Martin Bresman, Chief Public Prosecutor and head of the National Anti-Corruption Unit under the National Public Prosecution Department and the Swedish Prosecution Authority, state prosecutor Mari Mattila from Finland's Office of the Prosecutor General, GRECO  Senior Legal Adviser David Dolidze, and Bulgaria's European Delegated Prosecutor Victor Tartchev.

/RY/

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By 01:26 on 22.04.2024 Today`s news

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