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An ‘end to 15 years of special rule-of-law surveillance’ over Romania!

A 15-year journey has come to a conclusion for Romania. Tuesday, the European Commission gave its approval for the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) to be officially closed, confirming that the nation has achieved sufficient strides in judicial reform and the fight against corruption. When Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union in January 2007, an unique rule-of-law surveillance programme known as the CVM was put into place.

Both nations were then thought to have far lower legal standards than the rest of the bloc. The procedure was designed to close this gap, bring the two nations into line with other EU members, and guarantee proper implementation of EU legislation. 2019 saw the conclusion of Bulgaria’s monitoring by the European Commission, which found that all requirements had been satisfied.

In the case of Romania, the delay was lengthier since the European Commission noticed a ‘waning’ impetus between 2017 and 2019 and made more suggestions as a result. The CVM process was then ‘reinvigorated’ by Romania, who took up the slack and achieved the remaining goals, including changes to the political immunity of parliamentarians, conflicts of interest, and the recovery of illicit assets.

The CVM chapter was formally concluded this week after the Commission declared that there had been sufficient progress on all outstanding concerns. Romania’s prime minister, Nicolae Ionel Ciuc?, reacted to the news by saying that it ‘reflects Romania’s efforts and its entry into a logic of improving our European standing 15 years after membership. We continue to be firmly grounded in Romania’s long-term, unambiguous pro-European vision, a vision of Europe founded on common values held by all of its members, including unity, democracy, and the rule of law’.

As a result, Romania’s judicial system will be monitored as part of the European Commission’s annual rule-of-law report, which applies to all 27 member states. The absence of corruption inside the nation is not negated by this, though. Having received a pitiful 45/100 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Romania continues to be one of the EU’s lowest-scoring nations.

Although Romania has made progress in strengthening its anti-corruption laws, the European Commission noted in this year’s rule-of-law report that some crucial provisions, such as those governing revolving doors, political party funding, and whistle-blower protection, are still fragmented or missing.


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