The monitoring of Bulgaria under the EU’s Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) could only be dropped after the country showed sustainable results of judicial reform and increased public trust in the judiciary, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova has said.
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Bulgaria has to meet key objectives in justice reform this year, including some remaining from 2015, Jourova said at a joint briefing with the country’s Justice Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva after a meeting in Sofia on Friday.
Jourova, on a one-day visit to Sofia, also said that if it depended on her, she would like to see the CVM terminated within a reasonable period of time but for this to happen Bulgaria needs to fulfil the tasks on its reform agenda – for this year as well as those left from last year.
The CVM, introduced as a condition for Bulgaria and Romania to join the EU in 2007, is focused on the two countries’ progress in reforming their justice systems, fighting corruption and combating organized crime.
Jourova made it clear that the adoption of new anti-corruption legislation in Bulgaria was not enough, those laws should be put into action to achieve conviction in cases of high-level corruption under clear and transparent procedures.
Asked to comment whether the CVM could be removed through a political decision – something which Bulgarian MEPs had lobbied for – Jourova said that even political decisions are being taken on the basis of achieved results evaluated according to fair and honest methods.
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