This Master’s thesis deals with the post-accession leverage of the EU to reinforce the compliance efforts with rule of law and control of corruption in Romania and Bulgaria after 2007. Since Romania and Bulgaria became members in 2007, the EU suffered a loss of its accession conditionality. Hence, it is puzzling that both countries still try to implement almost everything that ‘Brussels’ is asking for. I argue that EU member state incentives and domestic issues are critical explanatory factors when it comes to the question of post-accession leverage in Romania and Bulgaria. By assessing documentation and archival records, I demonstrate profound insights regarding the compliance efforts in the two countries. Five years after the EU accession, both countries are still laggards regarding the improvement of control of corruption and rule of law compared to the EU ECE-8. Nevertheless, the thesis shows that EU member state incentives may help to overcome the shortcomings regarding rule of law and control of corruption. In particular, the informal issue linkage of CVM benchmarks and Schengen membership played a critical role since it has partially compensated the expiration of the safeguard clauses in 2010 and therefore helped to extend EU leverage beyond 2010. This implies that Schengen membership as an EU member state incentive was of great importance and had a significant impact.