Belgium Moves Closer to Bulgaria, Romania's EU Treaty Nod

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | March 31, 2006, Friday // 00:00

Belgium's Senate has approved Bulgaria and Romania's EU Accession Treaty opening the way for ratification by the country's lower chamber.

A total of 52 of the senators present nodded the treaty, against were only eight senators, all from the Flemish nationalist party Vlaams Belang (VB).

With Lithuania that completed the ratification procedure on Thursday, the number of countries approving Bulgaria and Romania's EU entry has risen to 15.

Belgian senator Francois Roelants du Vivier presented the treaty for voting, expressing his belief that both countries were able to overcome the final obstacles and become full-flagged EU members on January 1, 2007.

His colleague Karim Van Overmeire, one of the senators that voted against, said that Bulgaria had indeed undertaken very strict measured in criticized areas and as a whole answers EU criteria. Romania on the other hand, still had serious problems with corruption, he said.

To complete the ratification procedure in Belgium, the Accession Treaty of the two Balkan countries is to be nodded also in the Lower Chamber, as well as by the three regional and the two-language community parliaments.

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