EU Commission announced 4 Criminal Procedures against Bulgaria
The European Commission announced today four criminal proceedings against Bulgaria in the areas of money laundering, the fight against fraud with EU funds, air quality and maritime safety.
Brussels has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Bulgaria for failing to remove obstacles to access to justice in relation to air quality plans.
The Ambient Air Quality Directive requires that, when the limit values set by EU legislation are exceeded, Member States adopt air quality plans and define appropriate measures so that the periods of exceedance are as short as possible.
The directive and the Aarhus Convention, to which the EU and all Member States are parties, require that directly affected people and environmental organizations have the right to request public authorities to draw up an air quality plan and to challenge air quality plans and their content before national courts. Bulgaria has not guaranteed that environmental protection organizations or individuals and legal entities have the right to appeal to national courts. This option ensures that they can challenge the lack of air quality plans or their inability to deal with air pollution.
In May 2020, the Commission sent an official notification letter to Bulgaria. Furthermore, a final national court decision in 2021 upheld the practice of denying access to justice in relation to air quality plans.
Today, the Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion to Bulgaria, which has two months to respond and take the necessary measures. Otherwise, it may decide to refer the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Fight against fraud
The European Commission has decided to initiate infringement proceedings by sending...