On 16 January 2019, the President of the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life, Mr. Jean-Louis Nadal, received the President of the Bulgarian Court of Cassation, Mr. Lozan Panov.
Mr. Panov, who is recognized for his independence and integrity, was the foreign guest of honor of the session « Evaluation of Public Policies on Security and Justice », organized in Paris by the National Institute for Advanced Studies in Security and Justice (INHESJ).
Bulgaria, which joined the European Union in 2007, is the subject of an EU’s Cooperation and Verification Mechanism with regard to the functioning of its judiciary and the fight against corruption, organized crime and money laundering. Indeed, a number of reforms have been adopted, such as the establishment of an anti-corruption authority with extended powers in 2018. However, the situation remains marked by significant challenges.
Given the difficulties encountered in his country, Mr. Panov wanted to know more about the French system for preventing breaches of probity and promoting integrity in the public sector. He was notably interested in the missions and experience of the High Authority with a view to identifying good practices.
After recalling the particular context of the creation of the Authority, in the aftermath of a scandal, President Nadal presented the various activities carried out by his staff. He underlined that cooperation between the High Authority and other institutions, such as the judiciary, the police or the tax administration, is essential in order to ensure effective control of asset and interest declarations of public officials.
Moreover, the actions conducted by the High Authority to prevent conflicts of interest and reinforce ethics in public service were mentioned. President Nadal highlighted the role of the Authority in disseminating a culture of integrity and stressed the positive impact of education on behavior.
The discussions focused on the need to restore citizens’ trust in their leaders and to guarantee the independent, impartial and objective exercise of public functions, both in France and in Bulgaria. In addition, questions were asked about the regulation of lobbying and the management of the register of interest representatives. Special attention was paid to transparency in public decision-making processes.