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EU ends transitional measures for Bulgaria, Romania

18 September 2023, 17:43 CET
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EU ends transitional measures for Bulgaria, Romania

Sinkevicius - Denkov - Photo © European Union 2023

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Commission formally recognised 'important reforms' made by Bulgaria and Romania Friday, as it put an end to transitional measures introduced as part of their accession to the EU in 2007.

When they joined the EU on 1 January 2007, Bulgaria and Romania still had progress to make in the fields of judicial reform and anti-corruption, as well as in organised crime for Bulgaria.

The Commission has now formally closed the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) for both countries.

Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen congratulated Bulgaria and Romania for the "significant progress" made. "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," she 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."

Since the start of the CVM in 2007, the Commission 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 Member States the Commission 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.

On 5 July 2023, the Commission informed both the Council 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 Commission says it looks forward to continuing cooperation with Bulgaria and Romania under the annual Rule of Law Cycle as for all Member States.

EU Commission closes Cooperation & Verification 
Mechanism (CVM) for Bulgaria and Romania - guide

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