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BVMN Statement at the LIBE Committee Exchange of Views on Bulgaria and Romania

Date 30 April, 2024
Category Joint Statement Speech

On Monday the 8th of April, the LIBE Committee held an Exchange of Views on border and migration management cooperation with Bulgaria and Romania based on the recent Pilot Projects. The Border Violence Monitoring Network was the only Civil Society Actor present and was represented by Desislava Todorova of the Center for Legal Aid, Bulgaria. She highlighted the lack of transparency, monitoring and accountability within the pilot project;

“The Pilot project was tested in the Pastrogor transit center. Pastrogor is a small village close to the Bulgarian – Turkish border. Locations for carrying out procedures should meet the legal standard of ensuring genuine and effective access to entry and asylum. But testing projects in places like Pastrogor rather reflects the growing trend in shifting responsibility, outsourcing migration to the external borders, making migration more invisible.”;

and also emphasized that the pilot project failed to investigate human rights violations and rather reinforced the routine practice of pushbacks in Bulgari;

“Pushbacks dehumanize people. Numerous investigative and human rights reports reveal severe human rights violations, especially when it comes down to the Bulgarian-Turkish border. However, push backs are like “the elephant in the room” as a problem that is very visible but which everybody pretends not to see and this overlooking also applies to the responsible investigative authorities. So far, there has been no effective investigation about pushbacks in Bulgaria”

The full speech is available to watch here.