EC Report Delay Could Hurt Bulgaria's Schengen Prospects
The European Commission's next report on Bulgaria and Romania's progress with judicial reform, fight against corruption and organized crime may be delayed until January 2014, according to media reports.
The Commission's reports under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) are published twice a year to monitor Bulgaria and Romania's post-EU accession progress in certain problem areas, namely as justice and home affairs.
The report was due to be published by the end of 2013. Its delay would mean that Bulgaria and Romania's accession in the Schengen area will not be on the agenda of December's high level EU conference.
According to sources in Brussels, the report's delay is linked to the upcoming conference, writes mediapol.bg.
Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov revealed the expected delay after his talks in Brussels with EC Secretary General Catherine Day.
Tsatsarov said he is "moderately optimistic" about the upcoming report, but does not believe it will note enough progress to call off the monitoring, which has been going on for the past 7 years.
On Monday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius expressed his country's reluctance to accept Bulgaria and Romania in the Schengen area on accounts of weak border security.
Fabius' comments came amidst heated debates in French Parliament on the topic of Bulgarian and Romanian Roma residing in France.
Last week, Interior Minister Manuel Valls caused controversy with his comments that France should extradite Roma living in illegal camps, since there is no way they can be successfully integrated.
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