Bulgarian and EU flags in Sofia. Photo: flickr/antonella sinopoli
Bulgarian and EU flags in Sofia. Photo: flickr/antonella sinopoli

Bulgaria

When Bulgaria joined the European Union on 1 January 2007 not everyone was convinced that the country was fit for the club. The last of the European Commission's monitoring reports on Bulgaria had pointed to major challenges in the justice system and the prevalence of corruption and organised crime. On 13 December 2006, barely two weeks before Bulgaria's accession, the Commission established a Cooperation and Verification Mechanism to monitor progress in these sensitive areas. The mechanism also applied to Romania, which joined the EU at the same time.

Those who expected swift progress have been disappointed. A part of EU funds for Bulgaria were frozen over cases of embezzlement from 2008 to 2009, when a new government under Boyko Borisov, a former bodyguard turned politician, took power. Reports under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism continue to be critical, however. The Dutch government has referred to these reports to justify its continued opposition to Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area (although the country meets all the Schengen technical criteria). Read more …

Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev and Herman Van Rompuy (26 January 2012). Photo: flickr/President of the European Council
Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev and Herman Van Rompuy (26 January 2012). Photo: flickr/President of the European Council
River near the village of Mindya. Photo: pre tv
River near the village of Mindya. Photo: pre tv

ESI Bulgaria reports

Basic facts

Background documents

ESI Bulgaria film

ESI Bulgaria reports Basic facts Background documents ESI Bulgaria film

People

Places

Literary walk

Background information

People Places Literary walk Background documents
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