There is a new publication by CEPS: “Safeguarding the Rule of Law in an Enlarged EU: The Cases of Bulgaria and Romania” by Susie Alegre, Ivanka Ivanova and Dana Denis-Smith.
The report has one synthesizing section and two separate sections of findings for Bulgaria and Romania. The Bulgarian part is written by Ivanka Ivanova from the Open Society institute.
The report presents an accurate picture of ongoing efforts to ensure rule of law in both countries. It correctly notes that the ultimate legal instrument in case of systemic breach of rule of law is article 7 TEU when there is a clear threat of a serious breach of the common values of the Union. The authors think that more specific criteria and procedural guidance is needed to make article 7 functional.
A major recommendation in the report is that monitoring of the rule of law in the EU should focus on criminal justice.
In the Bulgarian section there is an understandable omission regarding political parties’ legislation – as the really deplorable amendments in the Elections Act were finalized after the publication of the report.