Commission Appreciates Romania’s Anti-Corruption Efforts and Closes CVM
13 December 2022 (updated 4 months, 4 weeks ago) // Published in printed Issue 4/2022 pp 243 – 244
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

On 22 November 2022, the Commission announced that it intends to no longer monitor Romania’s progress in judicial reforms and the fight against corruption under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM).

The CVM was established upon accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU in 2007 in order to remedy certain shortcomings that existed in both countries, in the areas of judicial reform and the fight against corruption, and, concerning Bulgaria, the fight against organised crime. These weaknesses were thought to prevent an effective application of EU laws, policies, and programmes. The Commission regularly verified the countries’ progress against specific benchmarks, which were included in the CVM.

In its latest 2022 CVM report, the Commission acknowledges Romania's significant efforts to implement the outstanding recommendations through new legislation, policies and tools to develop the judiciary and combat corruption. The Commission concludes that the progress made by Romania is sufficient to meet the CVM commitments made at the time of its accession to the EU. As a consequence, all benchmarks can be satisfactorily closed.

The Commission stressed that monitoring will continue under the annual rule of law cycle which applies to all EU Member States and covers, among other things, the issues of justice systems and anti-corruption frameworks. It also pointed out that the CVM can only be finally closed if reforms are sustainable and irreversible. Therefore, Romania must continue its work on ongoing reforms, such as on the Criminal Codes, and to ensure that all adopted reforms, including the recent justice laws, are implemented effectively and in accordance with EU law and European standards.

Before reaching a final decision to end the monitoring under the CVM, the Commission will consult the Council and the European Parliament and take into account their observations. The CVM for Bulgaria was already lifted in 2019.