Bulgaria 'Would Abandon Planning' without EU Pressure - Bertelsmann

Planning "would probably have disappeared completely" from Bulgarian policy-making "were it not for the EU pressure", a report on Bulgaria by the Bertelsmann Stiftung reads.

According to the 2016 report on Bulgaria by the Bertelsmann Transformation Index, planning could would have been absent "even as a tool for designing long-term sectoral policies, not to mention multi-sectoral policies requiring strong coordination across agencies."

The Bertelsmann report also voices "concern about the "control of major media by a limited number of oligarchs," a process triggered after the withdrawal of some foreign investors from the country.

Bulgaria's dropping positions in media freedom rankings (the Reporters without Borders ranking is cited her) has also been noted.

The Rule of Law section reads that "Public trust in the judiciary continues to be very low, and most political parties and politicians recognize that this is a major problem for Bulgarian politics." It also recalls the doubt cast in 2014 over the random assignemt of court cases, the "Belvedere" case with dismissed judge Rumyana Chenalova, prompted by the involvement of French Ambassador Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes in the autumn of the same year, and the lack of effective prosecution of high-level corruption and abuse of office cases.

"The overall impression is that there has been no progress in improving the judiciary since Bulgaria joined the EU."

The 2013-2014 period of political instability "was characterized by a lack of consensus reflecting deep societal cleavages", and that "made it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue long-term goals."

Public polls dated 2014 are cited according to which "only 5% of the public trusted parliament and political parties."


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