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Bulgaria, Romania still have work to do on corruption

26 January 2017, 22:10 CET
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Bulgaria, Romania still have work to do on corruption

Frans Timmermans - Photo EC

(BRUSSELS) - The fight against corruption and organised crime in Romania and Bulgaria still has some way to go, the EU Commission said in a report on judicial reform and the fight against corruption in the countries.

The Commission was issuing its latest reports in the context of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) - now going for ten years - for Bulgaria and Romania, taking stock of steps taken on judicial reform and the fight against corruption and in the case of Bulgaria on organised crime.

Bulgaria has made important progress in carrying out CVM reforms over the last ten years, particularly as regards legislative and institutional developments in judicial matters, said Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans: "With the additional significant progress made last year", he said, "the momentum built up so far allows the focus to shift to the key remaining steps which need to be taken to reach the CVM objectives and therefore to complete this important process on judicial reform and the fight against corruption and organised crime under this Commission mandate.

"The speed of this depends on how quickly the Bulgarian authorities are able to take the identified remaining steps in an irreversible way, in a way that does not call into question the progress made so far," he added.

On Romania, Mr Timmermans commended "major progress" made over the past 10 years: "The positive trend of Romania and Romanians to fight corruption and to protect the independence of the judiciary noted in the previous three years has continued in the last year too.

He looked forward to Romanian authorities taking remaining steps "in an irreversible way, in a way that does not call into question the progress made so far".

The previous CVM reports were published on 27 January 2016. These new reports concern the period since then, as well as an overall review of progress during the 10 years in which the CVM has been in place. The next formal reports are likely to come towards the end of 2017.

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