Transparency International – Bulgaria expresses its concerns that there is a danger that the statement of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen will be misrepresented by Bulgarian politicians as a “pat on the shoulder”. Although at the end of the mandate of the Commission it is time for political favors and show of support for political families at national level, we should know that in Brussels-speak this means different things:

  1. The EC’s exhaustion to seek progress in the deadlock in the fight against high-level corruption and organised crime;
  2. The start of the work of the relatively new mechanism for the same purpose – The Rule of Law Report;
  3. An opportunity for the Commission to identify the CVM (Cooperation and Verification Mechanism) as successful, while maintaining monitoring through its transformation into The Rule of Law Report.

The themes and recommendations, although in a new format, remain the same. The unachieved goals remain the same as well.

Our politicians should recognize that albeit in a different form, the monitoring still remains.

We need to keep in mind that for more than 10 years the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Transparency International points to the existence of severe systemic problems in counteracting corruption. The CPI consistently has a score between 40 and 44 out of a maximum of 100.

The termination of the CVM can also be perceived in the global context of deeper European integration and the eventual inclusion of the country in Schengen.