Friday, June 22, 2007

Brussels "Concerned" over Stalled Corruption Combat in Bulgaria, Romania

Sofia News Agency

Romania and Bulgaria have failed to demonstrate credible progress in fighting systemic corruption and organized crime, raising concerns in Brussels, Reuters wrote.

The article cites observers saying that results are stymied by hesitant policymakers, political feuds and ineffective state administration even though both countries have revamped their justice systems and passed laws to set up graft-fighting institutions, in line with EU demands.

"We haven't seen any evidence of results, any impact on society," said one EU diplomat in Bucharest.

"They should have produced more proof they are intent on fighting corruption at all levels."

Observers say fraud is so entrenched in the Romanian and Bulgarian establishment that many local politicians are reluctant to implement effective reforms, Reuters comments.

The EU is to issue a progress report on the state of justice, corruption and organised crime in Bulgaria and Romania on June 27th.

The European Commission has steadfastly refused to confirm claims that its upcoming assessment report on Bulgaria will not propose safeguard clauses in justice and home affairs.

Latest unofficial reports that the EU is likely to trigger at least one financial safeguard for Bulgaria and none for Romania.

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