Less positive is the Commission’s report on Bulgaria. Seventeen (17) recommendations were included in the last report of January 2017. Today’s report looks concretely at the progress made since then.
“We have seen progress in many areas but there is still more work needed. Bulgaria has met or made progress on several of our recommendations, but not yet all. I count on the Bulgarian Government to implement all the planned reforms, and to avoid backtracking, so that we can move towards the goal of ending the CVM under this Commission’s mandate.”, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans commented.
The Commission’s last report, in January 2017, took stock of overall progress in the past ten years and identified 17 specific recommendations which would help Bulgaria move towards fulfilment of all CVM benchmarks. Today’s report notes that significant progress has been achieved on these recommendations. While political uncertainty led to some delays in the implementation of reforms early in the year, the reform process has regained momentum since May, even if final results are still to be seen in areas requiring legislative reform and government action, such as the fight against corruption. In the judiciary, important developments have also taken place this year, notably with the election of a new Supreme Judicial Council, the impact of which should begin to show in the coming year.
While the Commission cannot yet conclude that any of the benchmarks are satisfactorily fulfilled, it remains of the opinion that, with a continued political steer and a determination to advance the reform, Bulgaria should be able to fulfil the outstanding recommendations, and therefore satisfactorily meet the CVM benchmarks, in the near future. The Commission will assess progress again towards the end of 2018…/IBNA