Sofia Awaits New EC Peer Review in June

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | March 25, 2006, Saturday // 00:00

The European Commission will launch a new peer review on intellectual property rights in June, Bulgaria's European affairs minister announced.

Talking to Darik Radio, Meglena Kuneva said it is possible - and routine for EU - to carry out regular peer reviews until the very moment of accession. Sofia hopes to become full-fledged member of the bloc on 1 January 2007.

The intellectual property rights (IPR) was one of the red-flagged areas in October 2005 Monitoring report of the EC on Bulgaria's achievements on the path to EU.

Meglena Kuneva reminded that the "small" safeguard clauses could be enforced within three years since the country enters the Union.

The EU Treaty of Accession for Bulgaria and Romania includes three provisions which allow the Union to remedy difficulties encountered as a result of accession: a general economic safeguard clause; a specific internal market safeguard clause; and a specific justice and home affairs safeguard clause.

Earlier this week Bulgaria's EU-entry advocate Kuneva has faced a storm of criticism from the left wing after she assumed a possible entry delay, should reforms in the judiciary and home affairs are not completed in time.

The justice and home affairs safeguard clause may be applied if there are serious, or imminent risks of serious shortcomings in the transposition or implementation of EU rules relating to mutual recognition in the area of criminal law or civil matters by a new Member State.

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