Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bulgaria: "Tapegate" scandal does not help Bulgaria’s efforts to join Schengen - Dutch MEP

Focus Information Agency

The wiretapping scandal does not help Bulgaria’s efforts to join Schengen, Dutch MEP for ALDE Sophia in't Veld told FOCUS News Agency.

Many member states are concerned and this is not related with the technical criteria for Bulgaria’s Schengen entry. This is very a big concern about corruption, professionalism and independence of Bulgarian judicial system. But still, we have to note that not all technical requirements have been met.

Not everyone is certain that the lawfulness is strong enough. Our position has always been that when all criteria are met, the country should be allowed to join Schengen. At the same time I believe the Bulgarian government has a very important task, and namely to persuade the other countries that it does everything it can to uproot corruption and crime and this should happen as soon as possible, said Veld.

According to her the wiretapping scandal will affect Bulgaria’s efforts to join Schengen.
The scandal does not help in any case. The impression that there is rampant corruption and lawlessness is growing. No matter whether such an impression is justified, it exists, added the Dutch MEP.

"Tapegate" refers to the so-called "Tanovgate" scandal, which leaked discrediting conversations between senior government officials.

See also EC: Bulgarian Wiretapping Does Not Violate EU Laws