Tag Archives: Bulgaria

Latest monitoring report on Romania- definitely not the last

Today the European Commission released the monitoring reports on Romania and Bulgaria, foreseen by the “cooperation and verification mechanism”.

On the whole, not many surprises: the rough tone that was expected, telling off the two countries for the very small (if existing) progress regarding judicial reform and fight against corruption. This time, Bulgaria is more severely punished, with part of its funds being suspended. Romania receives yet another warning but still no decisive measure such as the activation of the safeguard clause or retention of European funds.

What is the Commission’s assessment of Romania? In the usual diplomatic slang, the report notes that Romania presents a “mixed picture”. However, it does not take great further reading to realize which are the predominant shades in this “mixed picture”: although Romania seems to have re-established its commitment to judicial reform and the fight against corruption, the “legal and institutional framework is still fragile” and decisions on (especially high level) corruption are highly politicized. Some progress is acknowledged, but so is the lack of political consensus regarding justice reforms.

In conclusion, Romania still has a (rather long) way to go in fulfilling all the benchmarks set at the time of accession and will continue to be closely monitored by the Commission. A crucial element is the political will to fully implement all the commitments made by Romania when joining the EU; and looking at the Romanian political arena at the moment, this does not seem to be a safe bet.

One can almost hear the sigh of relief in the high governmental offices in Bucharest, at the confirmation of the fact that (1) no safeguard clause will be activated, (2) no funds will be suspended, (3) Bulgaria is considered to do worse and is more harshly sanctioned. ‘Schadenfreude’ and relief, that’s all.

Unfortunately. Now they can happily continue their holidays. They “escaped” this time again. This makes me doubt the effects of such a neutral report. Maybe next time the Commission can act more severely. It is sad, but only a “shock therapy” might make the Romanian political class aware of the importance of fulfilling its commitments and not just indulging in the mere satisfaction of doing slightly better than the neighboring country.

Written by Anda

Corruption in Romania

A short reminder for the European Commission that will issue the progress report for Romania next week, dealing with the progress made in judicial reform and the fight against corruption … safeguard clauses, anyone? (check here for the so called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism)

Click here to watch the video.

(Hat tip to The Short Story Made Long)

Oh yes, and Bulgaria (more…) has even bigger problems …

Kosmolinks #10

Here we go again! A (small) selection of interesting links I collected during the last few weeks:

Two articles that remind us of the last couple of years in US politics: Think Progress » The legacy of Bush’s presidency & Iraq: The War Card – The Center for Public Integrity

Here is an interesting article on The Unravelling of Russia’s Europe Policy

Brendan Donnelly writes on the Social Europe Blog about The Reform Treaty and its Impact on the EU Institutions

ECAS blog asks: Why are there transitional arrangements for Romanian and Bulgarian workers?

The Centre for European Reform analyses Poland’s bold new foreign policy

And last but not least, two research papers: The role of UK academics as security
‘experts’ for news media
and Leading think tanks in the world (.pdf)

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