COLLEGE MEETING: Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) Reports for Bulgaria and Romania

The European Commission adopted today its latest Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) Reports on steps taken by Romania and Bulgaria to meet their post-accession commitments on judicial reform and the fight against corruption, and in the case of Bulgaria on tackling organised crime. On Romania, since the last report the Commission has had to raise rule of law-related concerns a number of times with the Romanian authorities in relation to developments on judicial reforms and the fight against corruption. On each of these occasions, the Commission has noted continued backtracking from the progress made in previous years and this evolution was a source of great concerns. The Commission regrets that Romania did not engage with the additional recommendations made in November 2018. These recommendations need to be followed if the reform process is to be put back on track and the path towards the conclusion of the CVM resumed. The Commission is confident that Romania could give a new momentum to fulfilling the objectives of the CVM, and stands ready to help the Romanian authorities to this end. The Commission will continue to follow developments closely through the CVM. On Bulgaria, the Commission considers that the progress made under the CVM is sufficient to meet Bulgaria’s commitments made at the time of its accession to the EU. Bulgaria will need to continue working consistently on translating the commitments reflected in this report into concrete legislation and on continued implementation. Bulgaria will need to monitor the continued implementation of the reform with a newly-established post-monitoring council, and that will feed into the future dialogue with the Commission in the framework of the comprehensive rule of law mechanism. Both the internal post-monitoring and the EU-wide mechanism should support sustainability and irreversibility of reforms, even after an end of the CVM for Bulgaria.Before taking a final decision, the Commission will also take duly into account the observations of the Council, as well as of the European Parliament. A press release on Bulgaria and Romania and a Q&A factsheet are available online.