STATE OFFICIALS MAY LOSE JOB BECAUSE OF EU
People who expect that organised crime will disappear just as soon as Bulgaria joins the European Union would rather give up all hope. This is the most reasonable conclusion from the statement made by Meglena Kuneva, Minister of European Affairs, at her arrival back from the European Forum in Alpbach.For many years Austria has been what Bulgaria will be in a few years - a front post of the EU in the eastern part of Europe, Meglena Kuneva said. What she talked about were the problems Austria had with the migration, drugs trafficking, and organised crime. These are issues that Kuneva is planning to discuss in details with experts from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs next week.Another important problem that needs to be solved before Bulgaria becomes a member of the EU is related to the Competition chapter. It's true that little can be added to the current legislation on the competition, because the main acts - the one on the protection of competition and the other on the state assistance, have already been adopted. However, Minister Kuneva noted, the next step is to create an administrative reserve of well-trained people who actively fulfil their duties. The Commission for Protection of Competition should concentrate its efforts on finding out possible cases of hidden state subsidies on a municipal level or in any sector of the economy. When Bulgaria joins the European Union, if offences of this type are found out, the subsidies will be paid back in much higher amounts.Minister Kuneva also stressed on the need of some adminstrative restructuring. New units will have to be opened, she said. Moreover, some of the existing ones should be closed, if they are too old, do not operate, have no clear rules or any clear idea of how the administration can be utilised to the greatest extent, while public spending remains unchanged.