Sandov Has Made an Illegal Deal with NGO for a Control over Natura 2000
Sandov Has Made an Illegal Deal with NGO for a Control over Natura 2000

After a query from docent Stephen Shilev in the Parliament it has become clear about a prosecutor’s revision of the deeds of the former management of the Ministry of environment and waters

The Ministry of the Environment and Waters has referred the bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor's Office in order to check for a violation of the Bulgarian legislation regarding the Framework Agreement concluded at the beginning of last year cooperation between the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications with Minister Borislav Sandov and the non-governmental organization Association "National Agency for Control of the protected territories" for cooperation, monitoring and control of protected areas. This became clear from the response of the Acting Minister of Environment and Water Rositsa Karamfilova-Blagova to questions of people's representative from GERB-SDS Assoc. Stefan Shilev.

During the parliamentary control, the Plovdiv deputy asked whether the legality and expediency of this contract had been checked, whether actions in violation of Bulgarian legislation had been established, whether the contract had been terminated and whether the law enforcement and other authorities had been referred to this matter. On the part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the signing of an agreement with an NGO with a subject including control activities is a precedent. Control activities are legally defined and assigned by the legislator to the bodies of the executive power, Minister Karamfilova-Blagova said from the parliamentary rostrum. In her answer, she also states that during inspections carried out by the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, it was established that documents were prepared, signed and sealed without consultation with employees of the Eco-Ministry, in violation of a number of rules.

On October 10, 2022, letters were sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor's Office, which, according to the information of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, opened a file. It also became clear that actions were taken to voluntarily terminate the agreement, but the chairman of the association refused to cooperate.

Despite attempts to serve a notarial invitation to terminate the agreement due to invalidity on the basis of the PPE and to suspend any activities in the protected areas, it was not served, as the offices of the organization were vacated and the representatives were not found. In a reply, Prof. Stefan Shilev expressed his indignation at the fact that the Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister can cede control and monitoring of the Natura 2000 network, concluding a contract with a phantom company.

It was established that there was no payment for the performed "services" in terms of monitoring, control and protection of the protected area. According to him, these gratuitous actions by the NGO raise a number of questions about its goals and the financing of its activities. Associate Professor Shilev emphasized that the goals set in the Law on Protected Areas and the Law on Biological Diversity are clearly defined and are related to the protection, preservation and development of Bulgarian nature and biodiversity as a national treasure. The areas of the national ecological network Natura 2000 are also under a special form of protection, preservation and restoration of natural habitats and species in their natural habitats with priority over all other activities in them.


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