Kati Piri (NL) and Kathleen van Brempt (BE) to present report with 150 testimonies
The Bulgarian government needs to take more action to combat corruption at the Turkish-Bulgarian border crossing. This is the conclusion of MEPs Kati Piri (NL) and Kathleen van Brempt (BE) after they collected 150 citizens’ complaints, which they will hand over to the Bulgarian government on Wednesday.
The report contains testimonies of travelers who faced corruption at the border crossing in the last few years. Most of them describe situations, in which they have to pay bribes to avoid extensive car checks, and complain about the mandatory payment for ‘disinfection’ of cars. This ‘disinfection’ costs €3, and consists of nothing more than some water being sprayed on the vehicles and causes long queues and unnecessary costs. And although there have been several police actions against this form of corruption, no one has been convicted in recent years.
Kati Piri: “The rights of EU citizens are being violated by a country that will soon be holding the EU presidency. This corruption must come to an end. Bulgaria joined the EU ten years ago and has received millions of grants to fight corruption, but far too little progress has been made.”
MEPs Kati Piri and Kathleen van Brempt would like to cooperate with the Bulgarian government to put an end to corruption, so all EU citizens will be able to travel freely and without problems through the country. To that end, they will work together to set up a monitoring system for July-August 2018, in order to be able to evaluate whether the complaints have been addressed properly.
“Complaints are coming in every summer, travelers have come to think it is normal that they have to pay bribes. If you read the stories, it is difficult to believe that this is possible within the European Union“, says Kati Piri.
Kati Piri and Kathleen van Brempt have submitted a written question to the European Commission this summer, but they have not been answered yet.