Dutch Ruling Party: Bulgaria, Romania Not Ready for EU
The CDA stood firmly against a quick ratification of the treaty by the second chamber of the Dutch parliament, BBC reported.
Backed by the Green Party led by Femke Halsema and List Pim Fortuyn headed by Gerard van As, Verhagen appealed to the parliament not to rush its decision of ratification, because at their current state the two countries did not measure up to EU accession requirements. He did note however that Bulgaria was further than Romania on its road to completing all tasks set up ahead, but everybody still kept on looking upon the two countries as a group.
Verhagen insisted that maximum pressure should be executed upon Sofia and Bucharest to make sure that they comply with the requirements on time. He added that the ratification of the treaty should be delayed until the next European Commission Monitoring Report expected in the spring of 2006. Verhagen even tabled a suggestion of the delay that is to be voted by the parliament on November 15.
This caused a clash between Verhagen and Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Bot, for the latter insisted that the parliament should ratify the treaty before Christmastime.
Bot explained that delaying the ratification would discourage the two countries and have an overall negative effect on their motivation to continue with the needed reforms.
Bulgaria's Ambassador to the Netherlands Valentin Poryazov announced that he was in constant contact with the leaders of all parties represented in parliament and that he hoped that the second chamber would complete the ratification by the end of the year. Poryazov also added that the fact that the Dutch government in the face of Bot also backed the quick ratification was a good sign.
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