Lukashenko says he may quit as president
Belarus hits EU with tit-for-tat sanctions
Belarusian police introduce colour-coded torture system for detained protesters
Kremlin publicly condemns Belarusian police brutality in hint of growing frustration with Lukashenko
Russian services PMI rises to 48.2, but remains underwater as recovery continues to slow
Russia to start mass vaccinations on December 7
Azerbaijan’s Aliyev calls on Armenia, Russia, Turkey and Iran to assist in creating Nakhchivan land corridor
FPRI BMB Russia: Sberbank releases a three-year transformation strategy to e-commerce concern
Ukraine debt: muddling through for a bit longer but 2021 will be tough
Webinar & Podcast: Whither Ukraine in 2021?
Ukraine strikes deal with Turkey to produce killer drones instrumental in Karabakh conflict
COMMENT: Ukraine and the Biden Presidency
Economic sentiment in CEE falls in November as recovery momentum splutters
Estonian animation studio Imepilt to hold IPO
COVID-19 shot news cheers Nasdaq Baltic after tough 2020
Kahoot pays $31mn cash for Tallinn-based Hungarian learning startup
Brighter days ahead: The economic bounce back in 2021
Central, Southeast Europe stock markets jump in anticipation of COVID-free future
VISEGRAD BLOG: An easing of trade tensions but still an uncertain situation for export-oriented Central Europe
Hungary's ruling party in damage control mode after MEP sex scandal bombshell
Hungarian MEP involved in Brussels lockdown orgy bust
Poland’s PMI remains stuck just above the improvement line at 50.8 in November
Sharp drop in COVID-19 cases prompts new questions on Poland’s strategy of containment
Czech companies dominate this year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE
Coronacrisis to get worse before it gets better forecasts wiiw
EU diplomats say no chance of Bulgaria removing veto for Skopje to start EU accession talks
IMF says downside risks to Albanian economy are increasing
EU ministers fail to agree on launch of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia
Western Balkans commit to green agenda and regional common market at Sofia summit
Bosnia’s opposition ousts nationalist parties in major cities
Bosnia’s main ethnic parties fight to hold onto power in local elections
Southeast Europe’s EU members to get biggest boost from next budget and recovery funds
Bulgaria imposes 3-week lockdown to slow down COVID-19 spread
CEE politicians highlight trade and security ties as they congratulate Biden
UPDATED: Kosovo’s President Hashim Thasi resigns to face war crimes charges
Breakaway Transnistria fully under Sheriff’s control as Obnovlenie party sweeps board in parliament election
Moldova’s presidential election is over, now the battle for the parliament begins
Moldova’s foreign policy reset
Russian establishment quick to congratulate Moldova's new president-elect
Rising COVID-19 cases put intense pressure on CEE healthcare systems
Soaring COVID-19 cases in parts of Central and Southeast Europe force governments to impose new restrictions
MEPs urge European Commission to act against Hungarian media financing in North Macedonia and Slovenia
North Macedonia mulls decriminalising cannabis to boost tourism
Bulgarians deeply divided over government’s decision to block North Macedonia’s EU talks
Aegon to sell its CEE business to Vienna Insurance for €830mn
Constitutional Court defers decision on Romania's budget-busting 40% pension hike
The state is back in business
Slovenian PM Jansa stands alongside Hungary and Poland in EU rule of law row
Erdogan needs to go says analyst assessing Turkey’s economic collapse
Second virus wave ‘took wind out of Turkish manufacturing’s sails in November latest PMI shows’
In Karabakh deal, as many questions as answers
Protesters flood Yerevan demanding Armenia’s “traitor” PM quit over Nagorno-Karabakh surrender
Who emerge as the real winners from the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Below average 2020 wine production destined for volatile and uncertain global market
Iranian prosecutors pledge to pursue Trump for Soleimani killing even after he leaves White House
Israel out to provoke war in dying days of Trump says Khamenei’s adviser after assassination of Iran’s nuclear mastermind
Attack of the Debt Tsunami: global debt soars to a new all-time high
KAZ Minerals says risks around Baimskaya copper project in Russia up due to new government infrastructure plan
Kazatomprom resumes activities at all Kazakhstan mining operations
Kyrgyzstan's proposed new constitution provokes widespread revulsion
Kyrgyzstan's China debt: Between crowdfunding and austerity
CFC joins RWC in assessing KAZ Minerals buyout offer as under-valuation
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
Mongolia’s wrestling culture: From the grasslands to the cage
No surprises in Tajikistan as Rahmon retains presidency with 91% of vote
A Tajikistan poised on verge of economic calamity set for vote
Tajikistan revives on-off dispute with Iran
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
Turkmenistan: Everybody yurts, sometimes
Dirty money investigation reviews identified payments worth $1.4bn linked to Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan unveils extensive privatisation programme
Download the pdf version
The European Parliament’s (EP’s) Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) adopted a draft resolution on the worsening situation in Bulgaria on October 1, giving unequivocal support to the thousands of people who have been protesting for three months, demanding the resignations of the government and of chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev.
In the resolution, LIBE expressed concerns about the “significant deterioration of respect for the principles of rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, including the independence of the judiciary, separation of powers, the fight against corruption and freedom of the media” in Bulgaria.
The resolution was backed by 35 of LIBE’s members versus 30 voting against it. It is due to be discussed by the EP on October 5.
“[LIBE] expresses its unequivocal support for the people of Bulgaria in their legitimate demands and aspirations for justice, transparency, accountability and democracy; firmly believes that peaceful demonstrations are a fundamental right in every democratic country and supports the right of people to peaceful protest; condemns any form of violence against peaceful demonstrations; underlines that freedom of expression and freedom of information must be respected at all times; highlights that the use of violence and disproportionate force is unacceptable,” the resolution said.
It expressed dismay at the allegations of use of force against women and children, including children with disabilities, during the protests.
LIBE noted it is concerned by the “unlawful and excessive audits of private businesses who have publicly expressed their support for the protests”, a reference to the local toy store chain Hippoland. The company became the subject of probes by the economic police, tax authorities and market supervision authorities under the direct supervision of the prosecution the day after its owner, Martin Kolev, wrote a critical post on Facebook about police violence at the protests.
LIBE also condemned the “violent and disproportionate” interventions by the police during the protests in July-September and called on the Bulgarian authorities to ensure a “full, transparent, impartial and effective investigation into the actions of the police”.
The committee expressed strong concern about the serious deterioration of media freedom in Bulgaria in the past ten years, calling on the local authorities to secure a proper environment for freedom of expression.
LIBE also condemned the numerous smear campaigns against journalists critical of the government, urging the authorities to launch investigations into all those cases. It called on the authorities to probe all cases of violence being used against journalists covering the protests, pointing out that “violence at the hands of state agents, is contrary to member states’ duty to uphold press freedom and to protect the safety of journalists”.
The committee slammed the “continuous lack of high-level corruption investigations yielding tangible results” and noted that corruption, inefficiency, and a lack of accountability continue to be pervasive problems in the judiciary. It pointed out that Bulgaria must conduct serious, independent and active investigations, as well as to achieve results in the fight against corruption, organised crime and money laundering. It called on the authorities to probe carefully all allegations of high-level corruption, listing recent scandals that included “audio recordings in the summer of 2020, the Apartment Gate, the Guesthouse Gate, the Tanker Gate, the Rosenets seaside estate case or the scandal around the alleged illegal transfer of money from the Development Bank, which taken together suggest deep and systemic weaknesses in rule of law and anti-corruption measures in Bulgaria”.
“[LIBE] deeply regrets that the developments in Bulgaria have led to significant deterioration of respect for the principles of rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, including the independence of the judiciary, separation of powers, the fight against corruption and freedom of the media and manifests its solidarity with the people of Bulgaria in their legitimate demands and aspirations for justice, transparency, accountability and democracy,” the resolution said.
It criticised the inhumane treatment of migrants and prisoners, as well as the hate against Roma minority and the systematic deficiencies of the Bulgarian judiciary.
The resolution was welcomed by the protesters who gathered for 85th day in a row, urging the government of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Geshev to resign, accusing them of corruption and involvement with controversial businessmen and politicians. Protesters thanked LIBE, hoping that the EU has finally paid attention to their anger and calls for help.
The resolution was adopted a day after the European Commission released a very critical report on the lack of progress in fight against high-level corruption in Bulgaria, also expressing concerns regarding the pressure on media in the country as well as the slow progress in reforms to make the chief prosecutor accountable.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request have been expired. Please,
Access recover request have been expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: