EC Says Bulgaria, Romania Fit for 2007 EU Entry - Report

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | April 2, 2006, Sunday // 00:00

The European Commission will recommend in its May report that Bulgaria and Romania accede to the European Union on January 1, 2007, though both will be urged to pursue further reforms, German daily Die Welt reported on Sunday.

Citing "high-ranking sources in the EU commission", the daily says that the European Commission will warn the two countries that the EU financial aid may be reduced unless they press on with reforms.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn is expected to issue on Monday, April 3, his preliminary assessment whether Bulgaria and Romania are ready to join the EU in January 2007.

In the Commissioner's words, his "final report", which will recommend that the two countries join in January 2007 or push the date back a year, would be made public May 16.

The formal report is to recommend whether the two countries should go ahead or their accession be delayed by one year. However, the final decision rests with EU heads of state and government, who will most probably deliver their verdict at their June summit.

With the countdown on, Bulgaria has amended its Constitution to improve the national judiciary system, which is frequently criticized for being too slow and inefficient.

Even though the constitutional amendments dealing with the judiciary triggered strong negative reactions from Brussels, the ruling majority finalized them after adopting cosmetic changes to please the European Commissioners.

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