EC mission to check on judiciary to arrive in mid-June

The European Commission’s mission to examine the state of Bulgaria’s judiciary and law enforcement will arrive in the week after June 15 2009, EC spokesperson Mark Gray was quoted as saying on June 3 by Bulgarian news agency BTA.

Earlier, news agency Focus quoted Romanian newspaper Libera as reporting that the EC’s interim report on Bulgaria’s and Romania’s judicial systems would be delayed until September to avoid the findings being used as election material in the national parliamentary elections to be held in Bulgaria on July 5 2009.

The Libera report said that Bulgaria would come under harsher criticism than Romania about corruption and organised crime.

Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) said on June 3, quoting EU sources, that the EC reports on the two countries’ judiciaries could be postponed till September because in July, when they are due, the new European Parliament could block or delay the confirmation of a second term of office for current EC President Jose Manuel Barroso.

BNR quoted Gray as saying that the date on which the report would be issued would be decided after the missions to the two countries were completed.

BTA, in its report a few hours later, said that Gray did not confirm reports of possible postponement of the publication of the progress reports for Bulgaria and Romania to September.

The documents concern justice and home affairs and are prepared in compliance with the cooperation and verification mechanism to which Bulgaria and Romania were subjected after joining the EU on January 1 2007.

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