EC formally closes Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Bulgaria and Romania

The European Commission (EC) formally closed the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) for Bulgaria and Romania on September 15 2023, the EC said in a statement.

The CVM was introduced at the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union in 2007 as a transitional measure to facilitate progress in the fields of judicial reform and anti-corruption, as well as on organised crime for Bulgaria.

The EC has now repealed the two decisions that had established that mechanism.

EC President Ursula von der Leyen said: “I would like to congratulate Bulgaria and Romania for the significant progress they made since their accession to the EU.

“The rule of law is one of our fundamental common values as a Union and both member states have delivered on important reforms in these past years,” Von der Leyen said.

“Today we recognise these efforts by putting an end to the CVM. Work can now continue under the annual rule of law cycle as for all member states,” she said.

Since the start of the CVM in 2007, the EC has regularly reported on progress on the relevant reforms in Bulgaria and Romania.

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

For both countries, the EC concluded that they had satisfactorily met their obligations set out under the CVM at the time of accession to the Union and needed to continue working to implement specific commitments listed in the conclusions of the reports.

This work was completed in June 2023, the EC said.

On July 5 2023, the EC informed both the Council of the EU and the European Parliament of its intention to formally close the CVM for Bulgaria and Romania after all the specific commitments listed in the conclusions of the CVM reports had now been implemented.

In line with the decisions setting up the mechanism, the CVM ends when all the benchmarks are satisfactorily met.

“Today’s decisions reflect the Commission’s conclusion that this is now the case for both member states,” the EC said.

“The Commission looks forward to continuing cooperation with Bulgaria and Romania under the annual Rule of Law Cycle as for all member states,” it said.

(Photo: Sébastien Bertrand)

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