Commission Formally Closes Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Bulgaria and Romania
2 October 2023
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

On 15 September 2023, the European Commission formally closed the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) for Bulgaria and Romania. The closure comes after the Commission formally consulted the Council and the European Parliament in July 2023.

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.

The Commission ended the CVM because all benchmarks had been satisfactorily met. This was already concluded in the last progress reports for both Member States (→ eucrim 4/2022, 243).

Monitoring of the countries continues by means of the EU's "Rule of Law toolbox" which applies to all EU Member States. It includes both preventive tools with the Rule of Law Cycle and annual reports with recommendations, as well as reactive tools such as infringement procedures or the conditionality regulation. In addition, Member States must fulfill certain milestones for their judiciary and anti-corruption frameworks in order to obtain financial means from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

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2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg
Thomas Wahl

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law (MPI CSL)

Public Law Department

Senior Researcher