According to the World Bank, it turns out to be easier to do business in post-Soviet Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia than in EU member Bulgaria, writes Joël Ruet. Joël Ruet is the chairman of The Bridge Tank As...
A conference in Sofia debated the European Commission's proposal for an EU-wide rule of law mechanism on Friday (6 March) and one European lawmaker said there is already a clear majority in the European Parliament to set up a new control mechanism for the rule of law.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković made it clear that Croatia, the latest EU newcomer, wants to join as soon as possible the Union’s inner circles – the borderless Schengen space and the Eurozone.
The situation in Romania is partly hopeful: numerous civic movements have emerged in the country and an outstanding anti-corruption movement is growing in the society, especially among the young generations, write Elena Denisa Petrescu and Yannis Karamitsios.
The European Commission said on Monday (13 May) that Romania is close to being hit with Article 7 of the EU treaties, the heaviest punishment for a member state deviating from rule of law fundamentals. Losing the chance to join the Schengen zone any time soon would be one of the consequences.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who has governed the country with small interruptions for ten years, said on Wednesday (8 May) he will not resign following the European elections. According to opinion polls, Borissov’s GERB party (EPP-affiliated) may lose to his arch-rivals, the socialists.
Vĕra Jourová, the EU Commissioner for justice, said on Friday (26 April) that the Juncker Commission will not lift the monitoring on Bulgaria under the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM).
Laura Codruţa Kövesi, the former chief of Romania’s anti-corruption agency (DNA) who is one of the three shortlisted candidates to become the EU's first-ever chief prosecutor, emerged as the favourite after a hearing in the European Parliament on Tuesday (26 February).
The relations between Bucharest and Brussels hit an all-time low on Thursday (21 February) as the Romanian press reported that the Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans and Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová are under investigation for “falsification” of the last Cooperation and Verification report (CVM).
The European Commission warned Romania on Tuesday (22 January) against passing a decree that would provide an easy legal tool to overturn corruption convictions for politicians, including the strongman Liviu Dragnea, leader of the ruling PSD party.
Romania's centre-right President Klaus Iohannis said Tuesday (18 December) that he will invite himself to meetings of the left-wing cabinet in order to prevent it passing proposed criminal pardons that could benefit prominent politicians.
Leaders of Romania's left-wing ruling majority on Sunday (16 December) accused the European Union of "discriminatory" treatment, two weeks before the eastern European country takes over the bloc's rotating presidency.
The passports-for-bribes scam may look like an embarrassment for Bulgaria, but Prime Minister Boyko Borissov turned it around on Thursday (13 December), saying he had received compliments for the way Bulgarian law enforcement had put an end to the practice.
The European Commission published on Tuesday (13 November) reports on Bulgaria and Romania under the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), commending Bulgaria for progress made and lambasting Romania for backtracking. Both countries, however, were warned to uphold media freedom.
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev issued a stinging critique of the government's record on corruption and press freedom Friday (9 November), saying "the foundations of democracy are being threatened to a critical degree".
Bulgarian prosecutors said Monday (29 October) they have broken up a scam run by state officials which had enabled thousands of foreigners to obtain Bulgarian passports for cash -- and with them visa-free travel across the EU.
The publisher of two Bulgarian newspapers, Ivo Prokopiev, has asked that an international prosecutor or international observers get involved in the recently launched investigations involving his businesses, Bulgarian media reported on Monday (29 October).
Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová made it clear today (26 October) that the EU is worried about government attempts in Bucharest to violate the independence of the judiciary, also in the perspective of the upcoming Romanian EU Presidency.
Romania’s judicial watchdog rejected yesterday (27 February) an application by the justice minister to sack the country's main anti-corruption prosecutor, bolstering her case days after protesters massed in the streets to support her work.
Procedural problems prevented Romanian Justice Minister Tudorel Toader from addressing the European Parliament's plenary session on Wednesday (7 February) and explaining the government’s current judiciary reforms, which many MEPs see as a threat to the rule of law.
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