The Bulgarian Minister of Justice announced the creation of two new independent government agencies that will focus on fighting organized crime and corruption, Reuters reported Thursday.
The announcement comes on the heels of a July 20 report by the European Commission that praised Bulgaria for its progress in combating graft, but warned that the country was still one of the most corrupt nations in the European Union. The commission, which is the executive body of the EU, manages the day-to-day business of the European Union — implementing policies, running programs and spending funds.
The report praised the country’s corruption prosecutions of former legislators and recommended that Bulgarian authorities strengthen their training efforts for public officials in order to prevent conflicts of interest and irregularities in public procurement process.
Bulgaria is currently the poorest nation in the EU and is rife with public corruption and organized crime. According to the Minister of Justice, Margarita Popova, the country’s current system is flawed because public corruption investigations are handled by an agency’s internal investigator, who is subordinate to the head of that agency and not insulated from political pressures.