The Commission introduced the reports from 2007 and first prepared assessments and recommendations every six months and later annually
The European Commission announced on September 15 that it is terminating the cooperation and verification mechanism that oversaw judicial reforms and the fight against corruption in Bulgaria and Romania, as well as against organized crime in Bulgaria.
The Commission introduced the reports from 2007 and first prepared assessments and recommendations every six months and later annually.
In 2019, the EC decided to stop issuing reports for our country due to sufficient implementation of the recommendations, and by then it had issued 17 assessments.
In July of this year, the commission announced that it intended to terminate the mechanism. The Cooperation and Verification Mechanism was introduced upon the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU in 2007 as a transitional measure, according to today’s EC announcement.
From 2020, the EC introduced a common annual report on the state of the rule of law in each of the EU countries.
“I would like to congratulate Bulgaria and Romania for the significant progress achieved since their accession to the EU so far,” said the chairperson of the commission, Ursula von der Leyen, as quoted in the announcement.
“The rule of law is one of our core shared values as a union and both countries have delivered on important reforms in recent years. We recognize these efforts by terminating the mechanism. Work can now continue under the annual rule of law assessment, as for all other countries in the EU,” she adds.
The development of the situation with the rule of law in the EU has set a new context for the cooperation of the EC with Bulgaria and Romania, the announcement adds.
The annual reports on the rule of law accompany sustainable reforms for Bulgaria and Romania, as well as for the rest of the EU countries. Since last year, these new reports also include recommendations, monitoring the implementation of many of the agreed reforms in Bulgaria and Romania. When appropriate, progress on them is also monitored within the framework of the European semester, notes the commission.
“The termination of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism is a recognition and unreserved assessment that with the work of the government and the National Assembly, the Bulgarian side managed to implement fundamental and sustainable reforms in the field of the rule of law, which clearly demonstrate the ability of our country to fulfill its obligations to a predictable and reliable member of the European Union,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Gabriel.
According to her, this is recognition for the long-term activity and efforts of Bulgarian citizens and civil society.
“Today’s decision of the European Commission is a significant success and recognition of the reforms being carried out in Bulgaria, in the area of the rule of law. This significantly increases confidence in the Bulgarian justice system and will have a favorable impact on the process of Bulgaria’s integration into Schengen and the Eurozone,” commented the Minister of Justice Atanas Slavov of Bulgaria.