Romania top, Bulgaria flop?

The European Commission's latest progress report concludes that while Bulgaria is doing little to combat corruption and organised crime, Romania has made significant progress. Can Bucharest serve as a role model for Sofia?

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24 Chasa (BG) /

Sofia should take a lesson from its neighbour

The progress report presented in Brussels on Wednesday is right to blame Bulgaria and praise Romania, the daily 24 Chasa believes:

“In Bulgaria just one politician and one prosecutor have been given prison sentences in the past 15 years. In Romania more than 1,100 men and women from the upper echelons of power have been prejudged. One thousand of them are now in prison. ... In the past five years alone former Romanian prime ministers, oligarchs, MPs, ministers, judges and media tycoons have all wound up behind bars. ... The Romanians are being ruthless because they've found a mechanism for keeping the anti-corruption authority independent of the president and the prime minister, and enabling each of its officials to successfully bring over one hundred cases to court each year. Just imagine if that were the case in Bulgaria: there wouldn't be enough room in the prisons.”

Ziare (RO) /

Romania still has a long way to go

Romania is not as much of a model as it appears, writes Journalist Ioana Ene Dogioiu on the news website Ziare:

“There have been improvements in our justice system. Whereas years ago we were still discussing whether charges should be brought against an incumbent prime minister, now this is a reality in Romanian society. But is this progress irreversible? I don't think so. I fear that things could go very wrong if the EU were to stop monitoring the country. … This would be a desirable step if political interference in the legal system were merely a peripheral phenomenon, but we still have a long way to go here, and we need careful monitoring to ensure we don't wander off the path.”