The European Commission has published its annual report on the steps Bulgaria has taken to implement its commitments in the area of judicial reform, combating corruption and organized crime in the context of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM).
The report looks at the progress achieved over the past year in response to the latest 17 recommendations made by the Commission in the January 2017 report and makes a positive note of Bulgaria’s efforts and decisiveness to implement the recommendations. The Commission points out that the progress achieved in the implementation of all CVM benchmarks is significant.
It finds for the first time that Benchmark 1 (Judicial Independence), Benchmark 2 (Legal Framework) and Benchmark 6 (Organised Crime) can be considered provisionally closed while Benchmark 3 (Continued Judicial Reform), Benchmark 4 (High-level Corruption) and Benchmark 5 (Corruption on Local Level and Borders) demonstrate a significant progress and the recommendations are closed to being fulfilled.
The Commission is convinced that if Bulgaria continues the current positive trend, it will also be able to implement all other recommendations and, therefore, the progress benchmarks. This will allow for the CVM for Bulgaria to be completed before the Commission’s term of office – in line with the roadmap outlined by President Jean-Claude Juncker at the beginning of this term of office.
Bulgaria appreciates highly the confidence that the country will be able to complete the CVM evaluation process by the end of the term of office of the current Commission. In this regard, the Government state their continued resolution to consolidate the efforts related to the results achieved.
The Ministry of Justice states its resolution to continue working on the implementation of all recommendations with the clear goal for the CVM to be completed for Bulgaria by the end of the term of office of this Commission.