Bulgarian PM, Justice, Foreign Ministers Rejoice at EC Decision to Close Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Bulgaria

Commenting on the European Commission’s decision to close the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for Bulgaria and Romania on Friday, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said that yet another barrier on Bulgaria’s way to becoming an equal member of the EU in every respect has been removed. “We need to remove the remaining barriers in a short time: Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen area and the eurozone,” Denkov added.

“On behalf of the Bulgarian Government, I would like to express my gratitude to the European Commission and the EU member states’ leaders for their assessment of the progress made by Bulgaria and Romania in implementing the rule of law and the closing of the special verification mechanism for our countries,” Denkov said. The mechanism was introduced at the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union in 2007.

In a joint press release, Bulgaria’s Foreign and Justice Ministries assessed the European Commission’s Friday decision to close the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) for Bulgaria and Romania.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel said that this is an acknowledgement and unreserved appreciation of the work done by Bulgaria’s Government and National Assembly to ensure this country implemented fundamental and sustainable reforms in the field of the rule of law, which clearly demonstrate Bulgaria’s ability to fulfill its obligations as a predictable and reliable member of the European Union. Gabriel also added that the closing of the mechanism is a recognition of the long-standing efforts of Bulgaria’s citizens and civil society.

Justice Minister Atanas Slavov added: “Today’s decision of the European Commission is a significant success and a recognition of the reforms that are taking place in Bulgaria in the field of the rule of law. This significantly enhances the credibility of the Bulgarian justice system and will have a positive impact on the process of Bulgaria’s integration into the Schengen area and the eurozone.”

From now on, Bulgaria and Romania will be subject to the same assessment mechanism as all other EU member states in terms of compliance with the rule of law.