Presentiamo l'estratto dei capitoli 2 e 24 del rapporto della Commissione europea sui progressi della Bulgaria nell'accesso all'Unione. Il testo è in inglese.
Estratti dal rapporto della Commissione europea sui progressi della Bulgaria nell'accesso all'Unione europea
Chapter 2: Free movement of persons
Bulgaria has made some progress in aligning with Community provisions. Preparations forcomplete alignment, as well as for the establishment of the required administrative structures,
have also continued.
In the area of mutual recognition of professional qualifications some progress has beenmade with the development of standards for 18 professions and with the establishment of a list
of professions and specialities for vocational education and training.
Bulgaria has continued approximation of legislation relating to architects by revising the notion oflegally recognised technical capacity in the Act on Construction of Territory. However, further
measures are required in this area in order to achieve full harmonisation. Progress has also been made in the area of medical and para-medical activities where a number of secondary legislative acts have been adopted.
As a result of restructuring measures and additional human resources, the administrative
capacity of the three line ministries and the concerned state agencies has improved. Some progress can be reported on citizens' rights. By adopting the Act on amendment and supplement to the Foreigners' Act, which entered into force in April 2001, Bulgaria extended the right to family reunification for foreign long-term residents and seems to have aligned its legislation with the relevant provisions on student rights.
No particular developments are to be reported in the area of voting rights. It is recalled that the Constitution will need to be amended. No particular developments are to be reported in the area of free movement of workers, although a new Ordinance on Work Permits of Foreign Nationals is under preparation to ensure equal treatment for migrant workers in Bulgaria.
In the light of the future co-ordination of social security systems, Bulgaria has adopted secondary legislation, aimed at the completion of the social security reform.
Bulgaria has partially aligned with the acquis in this area. Steps have been taken to align with
the acquis, but efforts will need to be stepped up and institutional capacity strengthened in all areas. Further legislative work is necessary to achieve full alignment in the area of mutualrecognition of professional qualifications. Efforts are needed both to provide an appropriate
legislative framework and to ensure alignment with the individual directives. It will need to be ensured that, by accession, there are no provisions in Bulgarian legislation which contradict Community rules, in particular with respect to nationality, residence or language requirements.
Legislation on mutual recognition needs to be monitored to ensure that it distinguishes betweenacademic and professional recognition and includes simpler procedures to allow the provision of
services. It will need to be ensured that the administrative structures in place are in line with theacquis and that any adaptations and reinforcements needed can take place in good time.
With respect to professional qualifications obtained before harmonisation, Bulgaria will need tointroduce measures to ensure that all its professionals can, as from accession, meet the requirements laid down by the acquis. With the amendments to the legislation on residence rights, Bulgaria has made some progress in aligning with the acquis on citizens' rights. Preparations should continue and include amendments to the provisions on voting rights.
In the area of the free movement of workers, legislation is only partially aligned and substantial
efforts are required to ensure complete alignment by accession, in particular with theRegulations on free movement which will apply directly and automatically upon accession.
Following the proposal of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy a working group has beenset up to carry out a complete review of the current national legislation.
With a view to the future co-ordination of social security systems, Bulgaria needs to complete
its social security reform and to develop sufficient administrative structures, in particular totrain the necessary staff. Furthermore, Bulgaria is encouraged to conclude further social security
agreements, in particular with Member States, as they normally rely on the same principles asthe Community rules in this field.
Chapter 24 - Co-operation in the field of justice and home affairs
Since the last report, Bulgaria has continued to make progress in most areas in terms of aligningits legislation to the acquis. Substantial efforts to strengthen administrative capacity will need to continue. The adoption of a personal data protection act has been delayed several times, but is in Parliament. No progress is to be reported as regards the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention for the protection of individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.
Significant efforts over the past few years have brought Bulgaria's visa policy largely into line with the policy of the EU. As a result, since 10 April 2001 Bulgaria has enjoyed a visa-free
regime with all Schengen member states. From October 2001, Bulgaria introduced visa obligation for citizens from Russia, Ukraine and Georgia. At the end of 2000, a new TrainingCentre for Consular officers was established. The equipment of the Visa Centre in the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs is being updated with the introduction of a new visa control computer system.
Bulgaria has introduced a visa classification that is in line with the Schengen classification. Theprovisions of the Bulgarian Identity Documents Act and the Regulation on the Terms and
Conditions for Issuing Visas by the Diplomatic and Consular Missions of the Republic ofBulgaria are in line with the requirements for a uniform visa format. Border police officials have
access to the database on all visas issued by the visa centre, thereby reducing the possibilitiesfor misuse or falsification. The Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) has been
operational since October 2000 at the main border check points.
The preparation for future participation in Schengen is partially underway. Border police
officials operate an automated information system, which contains categories of informationsimilar to those of the Schengen Information System. However, some of the legal framework is
still missing. The process of replacing the identity documents of Bulgarian citizens and long-term residents, which started in 2000, continued and is due to be completed by the end of 2001. The newBulgarian passports and identity documents are considered to be of very high quality from the
point of view of document security.
Some progress has been registered in alignment with, and implementation of, the acquis in thefield of external border control. Demilitarisation of the border police has continued, but at a slower pace than envisaged last year. The Bulgarian border police is being transformed into a
modern agency with increasing focus on human resource policy. The first specialised borderpolice training centre was established in October 2000. However, there is still room for
improvement as regards co-operation with other national agencies working in the field of bordersecurity.
According to statistics from the National Border Police Service, 6,071,759 border crossingswere registered in the period 1 January - 20 June 2001. This is about the same number as the
previous period. However, 862 people were denied exit, which is 25.62% more than in thefirst half of 2000. 2,602 foreign nationals were denied entry for violating the passport and visa
regime (2.47% less compared to last year). Over the reference period, 859 foreign nationalswere expelled from Bulgaria and the number of readmitted persons was 1.268 (40.62% less
than last year). The latter figure does not take into account the high number of Bulgarian citizensreturned from Norway over the summer of 2001.
As regards migration, the 1998 Foreign Nationals Act, which regulates the conditions of entry, stay and control of foreigners in Bulgaria, has been brought further into line with the acquis.
Amendments entered into force in April 2001 in areas such as family reunification, travelfacilities for school pupils from third countries residing in a Member State, marriages of
convenience and admission of self-employed persons. Since November 2000, the borderpolice at Sofia airport has been checking identity documents of persons coming from countries
representing a risk whilst the passengers are still on board aeroplanes.
A readmission agreement between Bulgaria and Ukraine was signed in September 2001. InMay 2001, Bulgaria and Croatia approved a readmission agreement. Bulgaria also submitted draft readmission agreements to Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Russia, Tunisia and Lebanon, and
signed a readmission agreement with FYROM in June 2001. Bulgaria and Turkey haveexchanged readmission agreement drafts. A readmission agreement with the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia entered into force in August 2001.
As regards administrative capacity, in May 2001, the Ministry of Interior established a HumanTrafficking Task Force. This comprises representatives from different ministries and the
judiciary. It started working on the preparation of a Memorandum of Co-operation, whichshould lead to a common action framework against trafficking. A permanent working group has
been established to solve urgent migration problems in Bulgaria.
The National Action Plan on asylum policy has been followed by a report on further
harmonisation of national legislation with the acquis. An interdepartmental working groupchaired by the Agency for Refugees has been formed to ensure full compliance of the Refugees
Act, with the 1951 Geneva Convention (e.g. as regards the non-refoulement principle) and theacquis.
Apart from the ratification of the Agreement between Bulgaria and Belgium on police-co-operation in March 2001, no progress can be reported in the area of police co-operation.
Bulgaria is still negotiating a co-operation agreement with Europol. Also, with regard to the fight against organised crime, little progress can be reported. Proposed amendments to the Penal Code were rejected by the last National Assembly beforethe recent elections took place. In September 2001, Bulgaria and Ukraine signed an agreement
on co-operation in combating crime and a protocol on co-operation between the respectiveMinistries of Interior.
As far as the fight against fraud and corruption is concerned, (see also Section B.1.1. -Democracy and the rule of law) little progress can be reported. However, in October 2001,
Bulgaria adopted a national anti-corruption strategy, which is a positive step.In the area of drugs, some progress can be noted as regards approximation of legislation
through the adoption of several legal instruments to make the 1999 narcotic drugs andprecursors control act operational, but the legislation is not yet fully harmonised with the acquis.
In 2000, the Bulgarian Customs Agency intercepted a total of 2,620 kg of narcotics. 71% ofthis was heroin originating from the Middle East. Between January 2001 and August 2001 the
Bulgarian Customs authorities seized a total of 1,260 kg of narcotic substances, including 948kg of heroine.
Regarding money laundering, the Bureau of Financial Intelligence was established as aseparate agency by virtue of a law adopted in the beginning of 2001. The bureau collects,
inspects, analyses and reveals information related to money laundering activity. It may use inter-service, banking or commercial confidential information, as well as protected personal data. Thenew provisions widen the range of legal entities under an obligation to identify their clients in
case of operations over € 15.320 to include for example the Bulgarian National Bank, pensionfunds and sports organisations. Entities obliged to provide relevant information to the bureau
must adopt internal rules of control and submit these to the agency for approval.
In the area of customs co-operation, in July 2001 Bulgaria adopted a strategy for rationalising border operations performed by Bulgarian Customs. Bulgaria included the provisions of the Istanbul Convention on temporary admission in the Customs Act and its implementingregulation, so that it can join the convention in 2002. It also concluded a bilateral customs co-operation agreement with the USA and entered into arrangements with Slovenia, Slovakia and
the Czech Republic, through CEFTA. As to administrative capacity, the Customs Agencyadopted a strategy on organisation and management of human resources.
As regards judicial co-operation in criminal and civil matters, some progress has been
made. In April 2001, Bulgaria ratified the UN Convention against trans-national organisedcrime including the Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially
women and children, and the Protocol against smuggling of migrants by land, sea and air. InMarch 2001, it adopted a law on withdrawal of Bulgaria's reservation on article 12 of the
European Convention on Extradition. This reservation allowed Bulgaria to retain its right torequest evidence of crime from the country claiming extradition, which hampered the quick
examination of the extradition requests.
Overall, Bulgaria is quite well advanced in alignment in the areas of visa policy, migration,
border control, customs co-operation and judicial co-operation. However, in all these areas,efforts to upgrade the administrative capacity will need to continue. Shortcoming remains in
implementation capacity, training and equipment.
Bulgaria has not yet adopted a law on data protection, so it does not yet have a system ofprotection of personal data compatible with the acquis. Bulgaria has already largely aligned its visa policy with that of the European Union. It maintains visa-free regimes with FYROM, Romania, Tunisia, and Yugoslavia. Despite recent efforts, the capacity of the visa centre will need to be strengthened to deal efficiently with the large increase in the number of requests for visas.
Bulgaria has established an automated information system, which contains categories of
information similar to those of the Schengen Information System, and has introduced a visa classification in compliance with the Schengen classification, but needs to adopt the necessarylaws in order to have a comprehensive legal framework in this field. It still needs to bring the
procedure for issuing transit visas for Turkish citizens at the Bulgarian border into line with theacquis. Bulgaria should continue its overall preparation for future participation in the Schengen area and develop and present a Schengen Action Plan.
As regards external borders, demilitarisation of the border police continues and a bordermanagement strategy has been developed. However there is a need to widen it towards an
integrated border management strategy whereby all agencies active in the border region - inparticular the future external border of the EU - are involved. Although the border police has started the process of modernising its mobility, communication and surveillance equipment, the equipment used at the green and blue borders is to a large extent outdated and not fully operational, in particular as concerns radio communication.
Regarding administrative capacity, the current structure comprises a central directorate with ten
main divisions and 13 regional border sectors. The central directorate directs and controls 28border checkpoints. As of March 2001, the strength of the National Border Police Service was 8,168, of whom 4,468 were professional police officers and sergeants, 3,013 military conscripts and 687 technical personnel.
With regard to migration, there are now readmission agreements with all EU member states (except the United Kingdom and Ireland) and with Norway, the Czech Republic, Poland,
Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Bulgaria is negotiating with the UnitedKingdom and Ireland. Bulgaria should continue its current efforts and sign further agreements
with candidate countries and third countries.
Bulgarian legislation on asylum is already to a large extent aligned with the acquis and the main international instruments such as the UN Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees of 1951, the New York Protocol on the Status of Refugees of 1967, and the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950. However a number of gaps in the legislation exist and will need to be addressed in the amendments to the Refugees Act. The current role of the police, in particular the border police, in the acceleratedprocedure for asylum applications, as well as the lack of a fully independent appeal procedure
against these decisions, is not in line with EU standards and provisions. This needs to beaddressed.
The number of asylum seekers in Bulgaria remains limited, although a sharp increase
in the number of applications lodged in the past year can be noted. According to the Agency ofRefugees, 1,513 filed for asylum in Bulgaria between January and August 2001. Refugee status
has been granted to 292 people, and humanitarian status to 750 in this period. From March1993 to the end of August 2001, 7,451 asylum request were filed in Bulgaria. Refugee status
was granted in this period to 1,188 persons.
Infrastructure remains to a certain extent underdeveloped; there is one refugee centre in Sofiawith a capacity of about 500 persons and another centre in Banya with a capacity of 60
persons. In addition, a temporary transit centre for refugees has been opened at the KapitanAndreevo border checkpoint with the assistance of the UNHCR and a non-governmental
organisation. The Government has adopted a decree establishing two registration centres atSofia airport and the Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint, but work is still at a preparatory
stage. In this perspective, Bulgaria needs to make substantial efforts to have sufficient capacityin refugee transit centres and administrative screening. Additional efforts are needed also to
better integrate recognised asylum seekers and refugees into Bulgarian society.
In the field of police co-operation and the fight against organised crime, Bulgaria has
signed intergovernmental agreements on combating international organised crime with Austria,Belgium, Greece, Italy and Spain, as well as with the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland,
Romania and Slovakia.
As regards administrative capacity, the Bulgarian Police Services are handicapped by acomplicated organisational structure which results in a significant overlap of responsibilities (e.g.
between the Criminal Police and the National Service to Combat Organised Crime), serviceswith unclear roles (e.g. the Gendarmerie) and a lack of communication between different police
forces (especially at local and regional level). Despite the fact that police officers arecomparatively well paid (above the national average), the police force suffers from a poor image
linked to perceived corruption. The main reason for this is the lack of transparency andaccountability in the Bulgarian Police.
The introduction of a modern human resources policy is indispensable to improve the efficiency within the Police services. Bulgaria is a source of, and transit country for, trafficking of human beings. Women from Romania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia are trafficked for sexual exploitation to FYROM, Greece, Turkey, Kosovo, Bosnia, Italy, Poland, and other countries in western Europe. Although Bulgaria is making significant efforts to combat trafficking, these need to be strengthened. Bulgaria does not have a specific anti-trafficking law but uses other provisions to prosecute trafficking, which makes taking cases to court more difficult. Bulgaria does investigate trafficking, encourages victims to testify, and has two police units dedicated to the problem. Statistics on prosecutions are unavailable, but it appears that few traffickers have been prosecuted yet. Bulgaria also needs to adopt a programme for prevention and for the protection of victims.
As regards the fight against fraud and corruption, significant further efforts need to be
undertaken. A new strategy to combat organised crime needs to be developed. With regard tothe protection of the financial interests of the European Communities, Bulgaria needs to
complete aligning its legislation with the acquis, and in particular with the 1995 Convention onthe Protection of the Financial Interests of the European Communities and its protocols.
In the area of drugs, Bulgaria has adopted several legal instruments to make the 1999 narcotic drugs and precursors control act operational, but needs to make further efforts to harmonise its legislation with the acquis. It also needs to elaborate a comprehensive national anti-drugs strategy, covering not only the law enforcement side but also the prevention and health aspects, and to strengthen the administrative capacity in this area. Regarding administrative capacity, the National Council on Narcotic Drugs has set up a secretariat, which should become the National Focal point for co-operation with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drugs Addiction in Lisbon. However, the Focal Point is not operational yet.
The Bureau of Financial Intelligence (BFI) still lacks the capacity to deal efficiently with thedocuments submitted by the numerous entities and thus additional resources should be
provided. Co-operation between the BFI and other law enforcement agencies and the judiciaryin particular remains an issue of great concern. The BFI is a modern agency with a small but
highly motivated staff. However, an anti-money laundering policy can only be successful if co-operation between BFI and all other law enforcement agencies is successful and in particularif all cases brought to the attention of the court by the BFI are also treated with the attention
Bulgaria is party to the major international agreements in the area of customs co-operation and is preparing for accession to the EC conventions in this area upon accession. It has concluded
bilateral agreements with Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Greece, FYROM, Mongolia, Romania,Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, the USA and Yugoslavia. Intelligence and
investigation services within the Bulgarian customs are being established but do not yet meet EUstandards. They are in need of both administrative strengthening and specialised training,
including in covert surveillance techniques. The effectiveness of their work will depend on thefurther development of risk analysis and modern methods to fight fraud and corruption. As regards the fight against fraud and corruption, significant further efforts need to be undertaken.
As regards judicial co-operation in criminal and civil matters, Bulgaria has signed 37 bilateral agreements on judicial co-operation and multilateral agreements with its neighbours to combat transnational organised crime. Judges and practitioners still face major difficulties in extradition cases. Bulgaria's existing reservation on article 23 of the European Convention on Extradition, which requires an extradition request to be submitted to the court with a translation into one of the official languages of the Council of Europe, causes delay and loss of procedural time.
The capacity to deal with international legal cases, and in particular for extradition matters,needs to be reinforced in order to deal rapidly with incoming requests. The Directorate
responsible for this in the Ministry of Justice needs to be strengthened. The appropriate level ofco-operation as regards mutual recognition and enforcement of judicial decisions, and direct
court-to-court dealings in cross-border situations also needs to be ensured.
The human rights legal instruments covered by the Justice and Home Affairs acquis have been ratified by Bulgaria, with the exception of the 1981 Council of Europe Convention on the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data.