Home » EU Hails End Of Monitoring Mechanism for Romania, Bulgaria
Bulgaria Featured General News Global News News

EU Hails End Of Monitoring Mechanism for Romania, Bulgaria

The European Commission formally closed the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) for Bulgaria and Romania, introduced in 2007 to monitor the two EU members states’ progress on judicial reforms and fighting corruption.

Sofia and Bucharest welcomed the September 15 move, saying it was a “recognition” for their efforts to bring their systems in line with the norms of the bloc.

Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007 and were placed under an unprecedented EU monitoring mechanism as a “transitional measure to facilitate progress” in the fields of judicial reforms and anti-corruption, as well as on organized crime for Bulgaria.

The European Commission said now that Sofia and Bucharest “have satisfactorily fulfilled the obligations” set out in the mechanism, thus warranting the termination of the CVM.

“I would like to congratulate Bulgaria and Romania for the significant progress they made since their accession to the EU,” President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said. “Today we recognize these efforts by putting an end to the CVM.”

The monitoring of the rule of law in Bulgaria and Romania will continue in the framework of the annual reports, issued by the European Commission for all the EU member states.

“Their commitment and close work with the commission over the years has paid off. It will be important to keep the momentum and continue the efforts under the annual rule of law cycle,” commission Vice President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova said.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov welcomed the removal of the monitoring, saying, “another barrier to be equal with the rest of the European Union countries in every respect has been removed.”

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, meanwhile, called the removal of the mechanism “a great success.”

“However, this is not the time to slow down the anti-corruption fight,” Iohannis said, adding that it “still needs constant efforts and tangible results.”

In October 2019, the commission published its last monitoring report on Bulgaria and in November 2022 the last one on Romania.

For both member states, the commission concluded that the two countries had “satisfactorily met their obligations,” but needed to continue working to implement “specific commitments listed in the conclusions of the reports.”

This work was completed as of June 2023, the European Commission said on September 15.

Among Bulgaria’s last commitments, listed in the 2019 report, was putting in place procedures concerning the accountability of the prosecutor-general. Bulgaria’s parliament adopted in June a mechanism for the independent investigation of the prosecutor-general, but it has not been put in practice yet, sparking debate over its effectiveness.

Despite the progress, Bulgaria and Romania are still among the lowest-ranking EU member states in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index, alongside Hungary.

Source : Rferl