In this video post, I explain how and why the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) failed in Bulgaria. When Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union (EU) in 2007, they did not entirely fulfill the criteria on the rule of law. That is why, they were placed under this mechanism, so that they could catch up with other Member States. Twelve years later, little progress (if any) has been achieved.
Some of the reasons for failure include:
- no consequences for compliance and non-compliance with the recommendations of the European Commission
- the categories which are monitored overlap, so it is difficult to measure progress separately
- lack of capacity of the European Commission to properly identify challenges in the area of rule of law on the ground and to evaluate progress taking context into consideration
- complicity of the European Commission with the government because of behind-the-curtain ententes (role of the EPP).
One may use two examples to illustrate the failure of the European Commission in addressing key challenges before Bulgaria’s justice system:
- Omnipotent Prosecutor’s Office without checks and balances
- Political Supreme Judicial Council.
You can watch my video dedicated to Bulgaria’s CVM here:
If interested in the CVM, consider reading:
- ‘Sweet Like Sugar, Bitter Like a Lemon: Bulgaria’s CVM Report’
- ‘CVM Here, CVM There: The European Commission in Bulgaria’s Legal Wonderland’
- ‘So Why Don’t We Just Call the Whole Rule of Law Thing Off, Then?’
Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter @radosveta_vass for daily updates on the rule of law in Bulgaria and the EU.