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SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 24 (SeeNews) – The European Parliament will discuss on Tuesday a new instrument valid for all EU member states, which will also replace the current Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) for Bulgaria and Romania, the schedule for the parliament's October 24-27 plenary sessions shows.
The motion for a parliament resolution, drafted by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, calls for the conclusion of a Union Pact for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (EU Pact for DRF) in the form of an interinstitutional agreement (IIA) laying down arrangements facilitating the cooperation between the Union institutions and the member states.
The EU has several existing instruments at its disposal, but they are often limited in scope, inadequate and ineffective, or they are unlikely to be used, the explanatory statement says. In some cases, their uneven application is perceived by many as politically motivated, arbitrary and unfairly targeting certain countries, the document concludes.
The major point of the draft IIA is the introduction of an annual report on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (European DRF Report), containing country-specific recommendations incorporating the reporting done by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the Council of Europe, and other relevant authorities in the field.
Article 5 of the draft IIA proposes that the European DRF Report should replace the current CVM for Bulgaria and Romania.
The European Commission decided in March that the CVM will stay in place for both Bulgaria and Romania.
In its report, the Commission urged Bulgaria to focus its efforts on removing controversy about political influence on the judicial system and integrity issues regarding appointments, as well as address the effective implementation of court judgments. Romania, according to the report, needed to maintain the positive trends of reform and consolidation of progress.
The two neighbouring countries joined the European Union in 2007 under the condition to continue reforms in their legal systems and limit corruption, and, in Bulgaria’s case, also combat organised crime. The compromise was sealed by a special monitoring scheme, the CVM, under which the European Commission oversees the implementation of reforms and makes recommendations.