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Friday, October 29, 2004
Bulgaria is qualified to join the European Union but Romania should accelerate its reforms so that it can sign an accession treaty as planned early next year, the Dutch EU presidency said.
"I think that developments in Bulgaria are extremely positive in economic fields and other fields so Bulgaria really qualifies for membership," Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm said after a meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg.
"We also have Romania which is more or less in the same package,"Zalm, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, added.
"I hope that Romania will speed up its progress, then I think we can expect to sign the treaty in the first half of next year," said Zalm, standing in for Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende who is recovering form an operation.
Balkenende is expected to take up his duties as of tomorrow when he will be present at a signing ceremony in Rome for the new EU constitution.
"We should not blame Bulgaria for things that are not happening enough in Romania so my hope is more in Romania's progress than wanting to keep Bulgaria waiting," Zalm told Saxe-Coburg.
Sofia has already completed the negotiations with the EU and hopes to sign an accession treaty with the EU early next year.
In contrast to Bulgaria Romania still has to complete some areas of its entry dossier, notably in environmental, competition and legal fields. The two countries are scheduled to join the EU at the beginning of 2007.
Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 10/29/2004 02:04:00 pm
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