Sofia, 12 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Ministers from 16 Central and Eastern European states attended the opening session of an anti-crime conference in Sofia today. The three-day conference, aimed to fight corruption and organized crime, is sponsored jointly by the Council of Europe and the European Union's Executive Commission.
It is part of a year-long project called "Octopus," which is designed to provide participating nations with advice on how to develop the legal instruments to fight crime.
The opening session heard speeches by Bulgaria's Minister of Justice, Mladen Chervenyakov, the representative of the Commission of the European Communities, John Penny, and the representative of the Council of Europe, Hans-Urgen Bartsch.
The Council of Europe says recommendations from the conference will be submitted to the governments of the participating countries. Those countries are: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.