On the occasion of the publication of the interim report on the progress of Bulgaria under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), euinside asked Vladimir Shopov, a political analyst, to comment on its findings. As you know, last year euinside and Mr Shopov's blogeurope organised a discussion designated on the future of the CVM and its benefits. Here is Mr Shopov's opinion about the latest interim report of the European Commission:
Following this report the strategy of the Bulgarian Prime Minister to use the Mechanism to put pressure on the judicial system becomes much more difficult. This is most visible through the explicit recommendations for a change in the police work and the quality of investigation (the report is speaking of "thorough reforms"), the need for better operational cooperation between police and prosecutors, the need for more analytical attitude towards organised crime, and most of all - through including the eavesdropping scandal in the report.
This report restores the balance between the two sectors: Justice and Home Affairs. This is not surprising against the background of the Commission's general position that progress may only be systematic in both areas and under all criteria. It is very likely that the excessive political usage of the summer report by the government to have given an additional reason for such an alignment.
By using the recommendations of GRECO [Group of States against Corruption]and the work of the Council of Europe, the Commission makes an important reminder of the importance of the evaluations of these institutions and indirectly comments on our tendency to ignore it.
It is very important to me that the eavesdropping case is included, although it is just mentioned. Obviously, courtesies can no longer be made to the government, as we have seen in the summer report. The "Honeymoon" is over. After that technical evaluation it is quite difficult for me to imagine a very positive summer report, but to speak about a removal of the Mechanism is even unthinkable.