On the occasion of the refusal of the National Assembly to conclude the work on the anticorruption law, Transparency International-Bulgaria has sent an open letter to the Members of Parliament:
The refusal for improvement of the anticorruption legislation is a negative sign of political parties regarding their willingness for counteracting of corruption.
We declare our strong disappointment with the fact that the 43-rd National Assembly was unable to reach a consensus to develop the anticorruption legislation, which serves as a reference point for a more systematic approach to the fight against corruption.
The discussion at the Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly demonstrated that the Parliament does not possess sufficient political will to finally adopt the draft Law on Counteraction to Corruption and Illegal Asset Forfeiture.
Despite the fact that all parliamentary parties declared in the beginning of this mandate that fight against corruption is their priority, the results explicitly point to the mismatch between declarations and actions. The fact that the draft law was discussed and redrafted for almost two years without significant progress, is demonstrative for the declarative but not practical nature of the counteraction of corruption.
In sum, it was clear that significant public energy has been put to waste and in result our society and our European Union partners have received a clear sign that counteraction of corruption is not a key priority for the majority of the Bulgarian Members of Parliament and imitation of activity is the most applied approach. In this regard, it is not surprising that Bulgarian citizens are disappointed at the inconsistent political actions and the reports of the European Commission assess no progress but rather include new dimensions of the problem.
Transparency International-Bulgaria believes that the counteraction of corruption should be applied with consistency instead of beginning and concluding with the mandate of each new parliament and each new government.
We are certain that the elaboration of adequate legislation is the first but not the only meaningful step for effective limitation of this significant societal problem. It should be continued with consistent efforts and not with imitative actions by all institutions – the legislative, the executive and the judicial powers.
The effective counteraction to corruption requires political will and uniform efforts which can lead to a systematic result in the combatting of this problem. These are the expectations of the Bulgarian society.
We therefore insist that the political parties, who are looking towards the new Parliament, should formulate and present publicly their proposals for the approach and the means that they foresee for counteraction to corruption.
We insist in the context of the forthcoming election campaign, that all political parties should present their vision for the priorities and the specific measures in the fight against corruption. This can serve as a good point of reference not only for the work of the future Parliament and government but will also allow voters to demand that political parties put their pre-election promises to action.
Sofia, 16 December 2016