The EU’s Cooperation and Verification Mechanism: Fighting Corruption in Bulgaria and Romania after EU Accession (2012:1epa)

Remaining problems with corruption in Bulgaria and Romania have prompted the EU to introduce the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM). This mechanism is to extend EU leverage into the post-accession period with the aim of triggering necessary reforms. While the CVM has not solved the problems related to corruption and the judiciary, the authors of this policy analysis argue that it has had a positive impact by giving domestic elites in these countries stronger incentives to pursue reform, in particular when coupled to sanctions or rewards. Furthermore, EU pressure can be powerful when twinned with domestic incentives related to winning elections and holding power.

The publication is part of the research project Governance, control and efficiency in the EU.

Milada Anna Vachudova is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. Aneta Spendzharova is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands.