The European Parliament held a debate yesterday on the rule

The European Parliament held a debate yesterday on the rule
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PM Boyko Borissov receives full support from EPP leader before EP debate on rule of law in Bulgaria

The European Parliament held a debate yesterday on the rule of law and fundamental rights in Bulgaria. The debates coincided with the 89th day of nation-wide anti-government protests in the country, demanding the immediate resignation of PM Boyko Borissov, his government, as well as that of Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev. The largest wave of political protests in the country in the last seven years point to the growing and deep-rooted corruption and a vicious merge of state and oligarch interests at the top of the executive branch and the Prosecutor’s Office.

The two men have said on a number of occasions they will not resign, the former insisting his government has a lot of work to do and it would be ‘irresponsible’ for them to step down. Borissov’s numbers are plummeting according to all polls since the beginning of the protests, however, his strategy has been to double down on his hold on power, including by proposing for the country to embark on an indefinate procedure to adopt a new constitution.

The growing political crisis in Bulgaria attracted attention of international media and produced a number of pieces in leading European and American news outlets,
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which focus on the decline of rule of law in Bulgaria over the past decade, the growing corruption, EU funds fraud cases, lack of convictions for corruption, media freedom decline, etc. The European Commission and European Parliament withheld from taking a position on the political crisis in Bulgaria for a long time. The growing international media attention on the issues likely contributed to the decision by the European Parliament to finally hold a special session dedicated to Bulgaria, and a resolution, scheduled for vote on October 7.

After the European Commission published its rule of law assessment of Bulgaria and ahead of the debate, the leader of the European People’s Party Manfred Weber tweeted in support of PM Boyko Borissov, acknowledging the protests and the commission’s assessment “showing improvements are needed” but firm on the point that “ordinary March elections will decide.”

Good talk with on Bulgaria today. rule of law assessment was fair, showing improvements are needed. However, government has advanced on many topics helping it towards. Protesters are respected but ordinary March elections will decide.

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