Brussels ends 15 years of special rule of law surveillance in Romania
Romania has come to the end of a 15-year long road.
The European Commission confirmed yesterday that the country has made enough progress on judicial reforms and the fight against corruption, granting the official closure of the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM).
The MCV is a special rule of law monitoring program that was launched in January 2007, when Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union. At the time, both countries were seen as lagging far behind in judicial standards compared to the rest of the bloc.
The process aimed to bridge this gap and help both countries align with their counterparts and ensure the proper application of EU law.
The European Commission ended supervision of Bulgaria in 2019 after concluding that it met all the necessary conditions.
In the case of Romania, the wait was longer: after years of sustained progress, the European Commission detected a “loss of momentum” between 2017 and 2019, and put forward additional recommendations.
Then, Romania took over and gave a “new impetus” to the CVM process, fulfilling the remaining objectives, including reforms on political immunity of members of parliament, conflicts of interest and the recovery of criminal assets. .
This week, the Commission announcement progress on all outstanding issues was sufficient and officially closed the GVC chapter.
“Fifteen years after accession, the conclusions of the report testify to Romania’s efforts and its entry into a logic of strengthening our European status”, said Nicolae Ionel Ciucă, Romanian Prime Minister, reacting to the news.
“We remain firmly rooted in Romania’s clear and long-term pro-European vision, a European vision based on unity, democracy, the rule of law and values shared equally by all member states. “
As a result, Romania will no longer be subject to any tailor-made supervision: its judicial system will be monitored within the framework of the annual report on the rule of law, which the European Commission applies to all 27 Member States.
However, this does not mean that corruption is no longer a problem inside the country.
Romania is still one of the lowest ranked EU countries Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International, with a meager score of 45/100.
In this year rule of law reportthe European Commission noted that, although Romania has made progress in improving its anti-corruption legislation, some key aspects, such as rules on revolving doors, funding of political parties and protection of whistleblowers, remain fragmented or missing.