Pretending to Reform in the EU: The Shadow of Socialism Haunts Bulgaria's Constitution”.

This paper will describe how Bulgaria has carried out pseudo reforms – either cosmetic reforms or reforms – which aim at maintaining/enhancing the status quo. Furthermore, because of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, which turned out to be an exercise in flattery and complicity with the regime, a lot of these pseudo reforms have been sanctioned by the European Commission as progress. At the same time, however, key threats to the rule of law, which have been present since the socialist period, have remained unnoticed by Brussels, as visible from opinions by the Venice Commission and case law against Bulgaria by the ECtHR.