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Bulgaria and Romania closer to accession
Bulgaria  and Romania should be able to meet the requirements of EU membership in time for the provisional date of accession of 1 January 2007, on condition that they keep up the pace of reform. This was one of the key findings of the Commission's comprehensive monitoring report, published on 25 October, which examined the two countries' preparations for EU accession.

"Bulgaria and Romania have achieved significant progress so far in the preparations for accession. But, the jury is still out," said Commissioner for Enlargement, Olli Rehn. "In the months to come particular attention must be paid to actual implementation and enforcement of the reforms."

The Commission's report confirms that Bulgaria and Romania meet the political criteria for membership.

Bulgaria and Romania fulfil the requirement of being a functioning market economy. Bulgaria's continuation of the current pace of its reform path and Romania's vigorous implementation  of its structural reform programme should enable them to withstand competitive pressure and market forces within the EU.

The report shows their progress in adopting and implementing EU legislation. In most areas they are well advanced.

Nevertheless, further efforts are needed to address certain shortcomings which give cause for serious concern. Both must strengthen the rule of law, by improving public administration and the justice system and by fighting corruption effectively.

It is crucial that Bulgaria and Romania also increase food safety, reinforce the structures and mechanisms for participation in EU structural funds, and tackle industrial pollution and organised crime more effectively.

In April/May next year the Commission will review the situation. It may then recommend to postpone the accession of Bulgaria or Romania until 1 January 2008 if there is a serious risk of any of those states being manifestly unprepared to meet the requirements of membership by January 2007 in a number of important areas.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 5th, 2005 at 01:17:28 PM EST

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