The amendments to the Criminal Code proposed by the Ministry of Justice, which were adopted at the first reading by the National Assembly, are related to transposing Directive 2013/48 of the European Parliament and of the Council and aim to provide a new instrument for justice in cases against organized crime.
This is what Deputy Minister of Justice Evgeni Stoyanov stated today during a conference under the project “Organised Crime in Bulgaria: The New Challenges to the Specialised Jurisdictions” implemented by the Justice Development Foundation with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Stoyanov recalled that on 26 January of this year the European Commission had sent a motivated opinion about the violation “failure to transpose Directive 2013/48 of 22 October 2013 on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings”. This means that Bulgaria already finds itself in an infringement procedure. The Deputy Minister of Justice called on the judges, prosecutors and investigators to be more pro-active in the working groups with the Ministry of Justice on transposing the EU directives.
Iva Pushkarova, President of the Justice Development Foundation, pointed out that the project analysis showed the need for changes in the legislation with respect to the texts concerning organized criminal groups.
“The issue with corruption and organized crime is one not only one the EU faces but also the whole world; this is not a phenomenon typical of Bulgaria only. To resolve it, it takes time and a change in mentality,” H.E. Herbert Salber, German Ambassador to Bulgaria, stated.
According to the Director of the Rule of Law Programme for South East Europe of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation – Mr. Hartmut Rank, the damage from organized crime in Germany in 2017 amounted to close to EUR 200 million of which the state managed to recover EUR 25 million. “80% of these crimes are committed with international involvement; thus, the fight against organized crime cannot be waged at the national level only, it needs the partnership of all Member States,” Hartmut Rank added.