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« back to the list 16.12.2013
EUROPEAN COMMISSION: WE LOOK VERY CLOSELY AT WHAT IS GOING ON IN BULGARIA




EUROPEAN COMMISSION: WE LOOK VERY CLOSELY AT WHAT IS GOING ON IN BULGARIA
Център за информационно и административно обслужване на ИПАИ, office@ipai-bg.eu

European Commission

Internal Market and Services DG

Brussels, 12.12.2013

 

 

Dear Mr Bakardzhiev,

Concerning specifically the review mechanisms in the field of public procurement, Directives 89/665/EEC and 92/13/EEC (amended by Directive 2007/66/EC) set minimum procedural review guarantees including, among others, the so called "standstill period" before the contract is signed (and after it is awarded), the ineffectiveness as a remedy for certain serious breaches of the rules as well as possibilities for fines and contract shortenings. The review mechanisms apply to matters covered by EU rules and in particular by Directives 2004/18/EC and Directive 2004/17/EC. This means that the EU procedural guarantees under the Remedies Directives do not apply to the aspects of public contracts not covered by EU law (e.g. their execution, except for the modifications during their performance) nor to the contracts not covered by the Public Procurement Directives (e.g. public contracts below the thresholds set forth in those Directives). In those cases, Member States remain free to choose the review mechanisms, for example by extending the EU procedural guarantees to all public contracts or by using other sets of national law (e.g. the Civil Code for the execution of the contracts). Pursuant to Art.120, Para 1 of the Bulgarian Public Procurement Law, any decision, action or omission to take action by the Bulgarian contracting authorities in a public procurement award procedure -regardless the amount of the contract at stake- may be appealable as to its legal conformity before the Commission on Protection of Competition. In their turn, the decisions taken by the Commission for the Protection of Competition may be reviewed by the Supreme Administrative Court.

In a more general token, Vice-President Viviane Reding who is the Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship of the European Commission visited Bulgaria on 23 July 2013 to meet with Bulgarian citizens in the context of the Citizens’ dialogue programme of the European Commission. At that occasion and in a previous plenary meeting of the European Parliament she took the opportunity to comment on the political situation in Bulgaria which shows that the European Commission looks very closely at what is going on in Bulgaria. You can find Vice-President Reding’s full speech under the following link: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-655en.htm

More generally, the European Commission endorses the need for Bulgaria to continue its reforms of its justice system. The European Commission has offered direct support to reform through the mechanism for co-operation and verification (CVM) for Bulgaria since 2006. Bulgaria has committed itself to achieve compliance with identified benchmarks set out in the CVM in the areas of judicial reform and the fight against corruption and organised crime. This mechanism will continue to be applied until all the benchmarks have been met. In the context of this mechanism, Commission officials regularly meet with representatives from civil society and non-government organisations to get direct input from these stakeholders' perspectives on the situation in Bulgaria. On 18 July 2012, the European Commission issued its eleventh progress report to the European Parliament and the Council on the extent to which Bulgaria is meeting these benchmarks. The Commission continues to monitor the situation on Bulgaria and we are grateful for any information that we receive in this context. More information regarding to the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism and the report for Bulgaria are available on the European Commission website, via the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/secretariat_general/cvm/index_en.htm   

 

Internal Market and Services DG

 

European Commission