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Thursday, November 25, 2004
A new date has been set to close negotiations for Romania's accession to the EU.
Talks are to be finalized by December 17, after presidential and parliamentarian elections.
was the day when outgoing EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen said Romania could close accession negotiations.
Moscovici, the new rapporteur, told the parliamentarians about measures Romanian authorities still need to take for press freedom, judicial reform, the fight against corruption and the increasing level of poverty, according to Romanian diplomatic sources.
He also suggested that, besides the report he has to develop before the accession treaty is signed, he should prepare another report on how the country manages to fulfill its engagements.
The Green Group's foreign affairs coordinator, Dutchman Joost Lagendijk, said he is not confident that Romania can complete negotiations this year, because of the problems it has with freedom of speech and high-level corruption.
He added that he does not oppose Romania's integration, but the EU must be as critical with the country as they were with other candidates.
The European Commission's enlargement director, Mathias Ruete, said that Romania has made some progress lately that the Commission was not even expecting.
Foreign affairs commission president Elmar Brok announced the negotiation schedule for 2005.
The first debate for the development of the new reports for Romania and Bulgaria will take place in January 2005, the formal approval for signing the treaty will be given in April, and the Treaty will be signed on May 9.
Both Puscas and the new Commissioner for Enlargement, Olli Rehn, said they hope negotiations will be closed before the next EU summit to be held on December 17.
Rehn said in an interview for the BBC that "both Romania and the EC have to make efforts" to close the negotiation before the EU summit, but refused to say if the accession talks could be closed this month.
Puscas said Romania is negotiating "very difficult issues" these days, but he hopes talks could be finalized by December 17.
Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 11/25/2004 01:07:00 pm
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