Rule of law, democracy and human rights are enshrined as some of common values on which the European Union is founded, and which help bind the Member States together.Accordingly, this is also reflected in the political criterion for membership and the overall EU accession process. Respect for the rule of law is considered to be one of the main
preconditions a candidate country has to fulfil to become a Member of the Union. In the case of Bulgaria and Romania, even after gaining membership, the Union continued to assess their progress in addressing shortcomings related to the judiciary, corruption and organized crime.