EU Dashes Bulgaria, Romania's Hopes for Lifting Monitoring in 2012

EU Dashes Bulgaria, Romania's Hopes for Lifting Monitoring in 2012

The cooperation and verification mechanism (CVM), established to asses Bulgaria and Romania's progress in the in the area of justice and internal affairs, remains an appropriate tool to help the two achieve concrete and lasting results and must remain in force until the EU's newest members accomplish the desired results, the Council of the European Union's press office said Monday.

According to the official statement, the ministers welcome the decision of the European Commission to present in summer 2012 an overall assessment of the progress made by the two Balkan countries within the CVM framework since January 01, 2007.

The announcement, however, does not explicitly state that it will be the last CVM report, saying that EC's proposals will be given careful consideration.

The latest statement of the Council, however makes it clear that the mechanism will stay in place until Sofia and Bucharest achieve the EC targets.

Regarding Bulgaria, the Council praises the improvement of the rules for appointments, training and appraisals within the judiciary, the strengthened legislation on conflict of interest and the decision to establish a specialised court for organised crime cases and starting the reform of police investigations.

The statement goes on to say that Bulgaria needs to make further progress in the fight against high-level corruption and organised crime.

The Council also encourages Bulgaria to "effectively improve accountability and professional practice within the judiciary and the investigative authorities. Sustained commitment is needed to continue the reforms, notably by adopting a new law on asset forfeiture. Bulgaria should also ensure full implementation of the law on conflict of interest and improve administrative capacity in the field of public procurement"./Source: Sofia News Agency/

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