The European Parliament Has Adopted the Resolution on Bulgaria
The European Parliament has adopted the resolution on the state of the rule of law in our country with 358 votes in favor, 277 votes against and 56 abstentions.
It was known in advance that the political groups of the Socialists, Liberals and Greens would support the resolution, while the European People's Party (EPP) and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) would vote against it.
Ahead of the vote, the Socialists and Democrats Group (S&D) in the European Parliament called on all MEPs to support the resolution on the state of the rule of law and fundamental rights in Bulgaria. However, the European People's Party (EPP) announced that it would not support the proposed texts.
The final text of the resolution reads:
"a significant deterioration in respect for the principles of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, including the independence of the judiciary, separation of powers, the fight against corruption and media freedom".
The resolution also focuses on the ongoing systemic problems in the judiciary, especially the lack of a framework that holds the Supreme Judicial Council and the Attorney General accountable for their actions.
The MEPs condemn police violence and "disproportionate interference", in particular any use of force against women, children and journalists, as well as the "illegal and excessive audits" of private businesses that support protests.
The European Parliament also expresses other concerns - for the constitutional reform of GERB, which must be in line with the international standards. They are also displeased with possible changes to the Electoral Act just before the upcoming parliamentary elections.
"High-level corruption investigations have no tangible results," the MEPs say.
The text of the resolution also raises concerns about the state of fundamental rights, for example as regards hate speech, gender and sexual discrimination, the rights of Roma and asylum seekers.
"MEPs condemn defamatory campaigns and violence against journalists. They are deeply concerned about the deterioration of media freedom, transparency and lack of diversity in media ownership
and about allegations that EU funds have been provided to government-friendly sites. They underline the need for strict control over EU expenditure and want immediate attention to be paid to taxpayers' money, which is used to enrich those close to the ruling party," the Official Communication of the European Parliament says.
How the Bulgarian MEPs voted
Despite the support of the European liberals, the associated representatives of DPS - Atije Alieva-Veli, Ilhan Kuçük and Iskra Mihaylova voted with "abstained".
The socialists Sergei Stanishev, Petar Vitanov, Tsvetelina Penkova, Ivaylo Hristov and Elena Yoncheva voted in favour.
Radan Kanev from the EPP also voted in favour.
The other Bulgarian MEPs voted against. These are Asim Ademov, Alexander Yordanov, Andrey Kovachev, Andrey Novakov, Eva Maidel and Emil Radev from EPP/GERB.
Angel Dzhambazki and Andrei Slabakov, who were elected from the IMRO lists but are associated with European conservatives and reformists, voted against.
"Protesters in Bulgaria have called on Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev to resign as the citizens have become increasingly frustrated by systemic political corruption", the EP communication also states.