6 October 2020
On Monday the lawmakers of the European Parliament debated a resolution that highlights failure of the EU’s poorest member in respecting the rule of law, combating endemic corruption and upholding media freedom. A vote is expected later this week.
Thousands of Bulgarians have been rallying daily for the past three months, accusing premier Borissov of eroding democratic rules and allowing corrupt practices that support oligarchs and businesses close to his centre-right GERB party. Protesters demanded his resignation, but the three-time premier Borissov refused to step down.
Borissov’s own European People’s Party (EPP) members of the European Parliament defended him as a pro-European leader. But lawmakers from the socialist party family, as well as the Greens and liberals slammed Bulgaria’s government for abuse of EU funds and failure to uphold democratic values.
A European Parliament resolution rapping Bulgaria for shortcomings in respecting the rule of law would be a signal that Brussels is not turning a blind eye to the shortcomings in respecting the rule of law. Apart from that there would be no practical consequences except some political embarrassment for Borissov.
In Hungary and Poland, EU has implemented a of process checking if rule-of-law is observed. But Bulgaria escaped this provision by promising changes and setting up bodies to combat graft and overhaul the judiciary, while dragging its feet on delivering results.
EU’s top democracy official, Commissioner Vera Jourova said on Monday that the EU Commission would press ahead in monitoring Bulgaria until it sees tangible results in fighting corruption and overhauling of the judiciary.