The Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) was introduced with the Commission Decision from December 2006.
The CVM was set up as a tool to track progress achieved by the Bulgarian institutions on 6 benchmarks that deal with issues such as the independence, professionalism and efficiency of the judicial system, the fight against corruption and action being taken against organised crime:
- Adopt constitutional amendments removing any ambiguity regarding the independence and accountability of the judicial system.
- Ensure a more transparent and efficient judicial process by adopting and implementing a new judicial system act and the new civil procedure code. Report on the impact of these new laws and of the penal and administrative procedure codes, notably on the pre-trial phase.
- Continue the reform of the judiciary in order to enhance professionalism, accountability and efficiency. Evaluate the impact of this reform and publish the results annually.
- Conduct and report on professional, non-partisan investigations into allegations of high- level corruption. Report on internal inspections of public institutions and on the publication of assets of high- level officials.
- Take further measures to prevent and fight corruption, in particular at the borders and within local government.
- Implement a strategy to fight organised crime, focussing on serious crime, money laundering as well as on the systematic confiscation of assets of criminals. Report on new and ongoing investigations, indictments and convictions in these areas.
The Commission reports on Bulgaria’s progress under the benchmarks on a regular basis. The reports have been considered important guidelines for the reforms in Bulgaria. The Commission issued its latest report on 25 November 2017 and its next assessment is expected at the end of 2018.