CVM Report: Bulgaria Meets Commitments Made upon EU Accession for Reforming Judiciary and Fighting Organized Crime and Corruption
Releasing Tuesday the latest report on Bulgaria's efforts to reform the judiciary and fight organized crime and corruption, the European Commission said the country's progress is sufficient to meet the commitments made upon its accession to the EU. Issued under what is known as the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), the report is expected to be the last in this format.
The Commission says that Bulgaria will need to monitor the continued implementation of the reform with a newly-established post-monitoring council, which will be co-chaired by a deputy Prime Minister in charge of judicial reform and the representative member of the Supreme Judicial Council. That will feed into the future dialogue with the Commission in the framework of the comprehensive rule of law mechanism.
"Before taking a final decision, the Commission will also take duly into account the observations of the Council, as well as of the European Parliament," the Commission said in its press release Tuesday.
The new report looks at the progress made over the past year to meet the final 17 recommendations issued by the Commission in its January 2017 report. "It positively notes that Bulgaria has worked consistently on the implementation of these recommendations," the press release says.
In the past year, the Commission has seen "consolidation in Bulgaria of the legal and institutional framework put in place over previous years".
It notes in particular the commitment of the Bulgarian government to put in place procedures concerning the accountability of the Prosecutor General, including safeguarding judicial independence in line with the Venice Commission recommendations. The Commission also notes the commitment of the Bulgarian authorities to adopt legislation to repeal provisions in the Judicial System Act requiring automatic suspension of magistrates in case of a criminal investigation against them and reporting of membership in professional associations.