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S&Ds to EPP: Stop playing politics with rule of law and let the European Public Prosecutor get on with the job in Bulgaria!


31 Mar 2022


Justice & Home Affairs

The S&D Group is urging the conservative EPP Group to stop playing politics with the rule of law and let the European Public Prosecutor’s Office carry out its work in Bulgaria without political interference. Despite ongoing investigations into serious allegations of fraud and corruption of EU funds in Bulgaria, the EPP Group is demanding a debate in next week’s plenary on the role of the European Public Prosecutor (EPPO) in Bulgaria following arrests of former government figures last week. In recent months, the S&D Group has regularly called for plenary debates on the rule of law in Bulgaria, only to be blocked by the EPP Group at every opportunity. The S&D Group believes the request being made to Parliament group leaders meeting today by the EPP’s Manfred Weber does not follow the correct parliamentary procedure and stresses that this issue must be dealt with in the first instance in the monitoring group of the responsible committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs.

Katarina Barley, S&D Member of the LIBE Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG), said:

“The EPP should protect the European Public Prosecutor’s Office that we all worked hard to establish, rather than undermine its integrity and get in the way of justice. Instead of siding with Boyko Borissov, the EPP should be supporting those who shed light on corruption and misuse of EU funds in Bulgaria and beyond.”

Elena Yoncheva, S&D Member in the LIBE Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG), said:

“For many years the EPP has turned a blind eye to the systemic deterioration of the rule of law in Bulgaria. The EPP remained silent when corruption suffocated ordinary citizens and businesses, when media freedom collapsed and when justice was captured and more importantly, and they remained silent when thousands of Bulgarian citizens marched in the streets demanding the resignation of the EPP-led government of Borissov. Those Bulgarian citizens had only one demand - the rule of law. And rule of law is the core EU value. It is not a political toy to play with when it suits your political purposes and political friends. Politicising ongoing investigations is just another attempt on behalf of the EPP to turn a blind eye to all the shady practices Bulgaria witnessed in the past.”