Brussels's Hands "Tied" over Bulgaria, Romania EU Entry

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | May 3, 2006, Wednesday // 00:00

Bulgaria and Romania may accede to the European Union even without making the necessary changes, Austria's Die Presse newspaper wrote in an article, entitled "Brussels's Hands Tied".

The safeguard clause, which may delay Bulgaria and Romania's entry by one year till 2008, actually deprives the European Union of its most powerful tool - pressure, the article says.

"That's why Bulgaria and Romania may afford to just sit and wait for the accession to happen."

Meanwhile another Austrian newspaper Der Standard reported that the final assessment of Bulgaria's membership bid may be delayed until the autumn.

If this scenario unfolds, Bulgarian entry next year will be made conditional on a second autumn assessment to prove that Sofia was taking a tough approach to organized crime.

Bulgaria could be made to wait until the last minute to find out whether it can join the European Union next year, amid serious concern in Brussels about its commitment to tackling organized crime and corruption, Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

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