EUR 9 B for Romania and Bulgaria After 2007

Views on BG | February 11, 2004, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Romania and Bulgaria could receive EUR 9 B of EU assistance between 2007 and 2010. The Brussels executive called it "a fair and balanced share of the EU budget after their accession" - set to be in 2007.

This sum of money will allow Bulgaria and Romania to conclude EU negotiations later this year or early in 2005.

The package, of which just over two thirds will go to Romania and the rest to Bulgaria, includes regional and farm subsidies for the first three years of EU membership.

Enlargement Commissioner Gьnter Verheugen said: "This offer is both generous and realistic. If approved, it will help Bulgaria and Romania make full use of their EU membership and play an active role as equal and respected members of the European Union".

"This package of some EUR 15.4 B in commitments and EUR 9 B in actual payments follows the same principles and methodology that were applied for the ten acceding countries which will join the European Union at 1 May 2004", says a press release.

Bulgarian Finance Minister Milen Velchev said that this proved the Commission's willingness to continue the enlargement process.

The Romanian chief negotiator to the EU, Vasile Puscas, said he hoped that the sum of money for Romania would be enough to cover future reforms. He underlined that Bucharest has already undertaken expensive reforms.

Agriculture, regional policy and nuclear safety

On agriculture, the Commission has committed EUR 881 M in direct farm support payments for Romania and EUR 431 M for Bulgaria.

Rural development in Romania could receive EUR 2,4 B and Bulgaria could see EUR 617 M over the three years

Regional development would be funded by up to EUR 6 B for Romania from 2007-2009 and EUR 2,3 B for Bulgaria.

The financial package also deals with nuclear safety and grants, which sets aside EUR 350 M for the closure of the Kozloduy nuclear plant in Bulgaria.

Romania and EU funds

The Commission's proposal comes in the midst of a European crisis for Romania - which could lead to its EU funds being suspended.

Romania has been strongly criticised by both the European Parliament and the European Commission for having permitted adoption of Romanian children abroad.

EU member states have yet to agree to the Commission's proposal.
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