Romania Joins EU in 2007, Bulgaria Delayed for 2008 - Report

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | May 1, 2006, Monday // 00:00

The European Commission key report, due to be released on May 16, will recommend Romania's accession in 2007 and the postponement of Bulgaria's entry by one year, Romania's newspaper Adevarul claims, citing diplomatic sources in Brussels.

Should the European Commission recommend triggering the safeguard clause for Bulgaria, delaying its accession by one year, Romania's only chance to enter in 2007 is to insist on being decoupled, Adevurul says.

At the end of last week Romania's Foreign Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu took a stand against the separation of the two countries now, in the final line before EU accession. Speaking to Bulgarian journalists in Sofia, Ungureanu stressed that Romania was not split from Bulgaria when it was lagging behind in the pre-accession process.

"Now it is not the right time to do that," he said.

Bulgaria however has one advantage to its larger neighbour Romania. The decision for postponing Sofia joining date to 1 January 2008 should be taken unanimously by the European Council. Unlike Bulgaria, Romania may be delayed only with two-thirds of the votes.

Sofia rejected Bucharest reports and the European Commission said the decision on the likely date of Romania and Bulgaria EU accession has not been taken yet.

At the beginning of April EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn presented his preliminary report on Bulgaria and Romania and said their EU accession in 2007 is doable. But in his presentation of both countries EU efforts, he made a clear distinction between the two, reserving his praise for Romania.

For the first time since the two Balkan countries were coupled in a package for the 2007 enlargement, Rehn said only one of the two countries might accede as planned.

Bulgaria once led Romania in EU reforms but stumbled last year after a protracted political standoff and a failure to lay corruption charges against high-level officials or convict anyone for a string of contract murders.

MORE READ in the On EU Doorstep Section

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Bulgaria in EU » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Bulgaria news (Sofia News Agency - is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." (Sofia News Agency - and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria