Timmermans: CVM Reports on Bulgaria Should Not Be Tied to Schengen Accession
First Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, who is in charge of the Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) over Bulgaria and Romania, has said that it should not be tied to the accession to Schengen of the two countries.
Until recently, Timmermans, in his capacity as Dutch Foreign Minister, claimed just the opposite, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).
His new stance was presented Friday by Meglena Kuneva, Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister.
Speaking after a meeting with Timmermans, Kuneva said that she had been impressed by his political independence, adding that he treated the two processes as separate, contrary to popular opinion in his home country.
On Wednesday, a European Commission mission is to arrive in Bulgaria over the next CVM report.
Kuneva argued that Bulgaria had fulfilled a large part of its commitments.
She said that although no miracle was likely to happen by the arrival of the EC officials, it was important for Bulgaria to commit to deadlines for certain achievements.
“We should adopt a judicial reform strategy. We are only waiting for the stance of the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) to launch the procedure for the election of Chief Inspector at the VSS and hold a decent procedure for the election of Chair of the Supreme Court of Cassation,” she stated.
Kuneva suggested that the CVM mechanism would remain in place for at least a year on.
Commenting on the plans of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for abolition of the CVM mechanism by the end of his term in office, she reminded that it would expire in 5 years, which was not a short period of time.
“It is important that the progress reports get better and better each year and that more and more positive comments about Bulgaria are heard,” she noted.
Kuneva and Timmermans discussed public procurement, which was described as a problem in the past few progress reports of the EC on Bulgaria.
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