All Blame on the Commission! (MEP Approaches)

Novinite Insider » EDITORIAL | Author: Ivan Dikov |April 24, 2009, Friday // 10:34| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: All Blame on the Commission! (MEP Approaches) Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Other than being the only internationally elected legislature, the European Parliament demonstrates a number of other oddities.

In an inspired move on Thursday, for example, the Parliament adopted a text as part of the report discharging the European Commission of the 2007 Budget, practically stating that the Commission had deceived not only the nice MEPs but also the good governments of Bulgaria and Romania over the Bulgaria's and Romania's preparedness to absorb EU money.

This text is actually a toned down version of an earlier draft which said "the European Commission has neglected the Copenhagen criteria for membership and has misled the public opinion and the European Parliament about the preparedness of Bulgaria and Romania, and has thus harmed the reputation of the European Union, and the stable development of those states".

Just how cool is that?! Blaming the Bad European Commission for tricking everyone (even the governments of Bulgaria and Romania!!?) and misleading them to believe the two states were ready to join the EU when in fact they weren't!...

One gets to wonder if the Members of the European Parliament have really been so na?ve...

The fact of the matter is, of course, that even my dog Sharo knew that Bulgaria and Romania did not meet properly all the criteria for EU accession especially in areas such as administrative capacity, judicial system, combating corruption and organized crime...

The decision to admit the two states on January 1, 2007, was clearly a political one, and it was the right decision, no doubt.

First, the post-communist transition progress of the two states has been rather troubled and fragile, and with a resurgent Russia still rather influential (in at least one of them) no one could know for sure what might happen with them...

Second, the Balkans are still Europe's questionable backyard, and admitting and thus stabilizing these two states at the heart of this explosive region sooner rather than later, did create something of a stability belt in Southeast Europe...

Third, Bulgaria and Romania provided crucial test cases for further enlargements with other countries to the East, on which valuable conclusion can (or at least should) be drawn by the EU leaders in Brussels, as well as in Berlin, Paris, London, etc...

It is as if the MEPs woke up one morning in April, 2009, couple of months before the end of their five-year term, and felt cheated about the performance of Bulgaria and Romania over the last two-and-a-half years.

Clearly, there is disillusionment with Bulgaria and Romania (even though those who knew the situation well back in 2006 hardly had any great expectations). And, clearly, the European Parliament Elections are in less than two months, and the MEPs seem to probably want to figure out some way to shift responsibility, and to mobilize voters over the enlargement issue...

But blaming the Commission for the failed membership of Bulgaria and Romania is hardly a solution... Apart from executing and implementing policies, the Commission is also crafting policies, and it is the main engine of EU integration. Perhaps it made some mistakes in the last enlargement but blaming it could produce no good. Instead, all enlargement debates and efforts in Brussels and beyond should be concentrated on how to come up with a better way to stabilize and integrate states in the East, especially beyond Bulgaria and Romania.

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Tags: European parliament, European Parliament elections, European Commission, enlargement, Bulgaria, Romania
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