Bulgaria should step up its efforts to reform its judicial system in order to improve efficiency, ensure equal access to justice and guarantee the rule of law, participants at a roundtable discussion in Sofia on June 8, which included foreign ambassadors and representatives of foreign chambers of commerce, said.
Co-organised by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Bulgaria, the British Bulgarian Business Association and Confindustria Bulgaria, the goal of the event was for “the business sector to clearly state its position that Bulgaria needs a working judiciary that guarantees a stable and predictable investment and business environment,” AmCham Bulgaria said in a statement.
This is not the first time that foreign business chambers have called for comprehensive judiciary reform in Bulgaria, with 10 trade groups signing an open letter to Bulgaria’s state leaders in January 2016 calling for a systemic approach to solving the outstanding issues in the judicial system.
On this occasion, the chambers of commerce were joined by the ambassadors of Great Britain Emma Hopkins and Italy’s Stefano Baldi, as well as US embassy deputy chief of mission Martina Strong.
Hopkins said that slow justice was absence of justice and that the issue of overworked courts was an important one to solve as part of the judiciary overhaul.
Baldi pointed out that it was not just the reform itself that mattered, but the social perceptions about corruption and justice. Only transparent efforts to improve the judiciary and permanent communication could improve such perceptions, he said.
(Italian ambassador Stefano Baldi. Photo: AmCham Bulgaria)