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Wednesday, December 15, 2004
After almost five years of tough negotiations Romania completed yesterday the negotiations that are to bring her into the European Union in 2007, a date EU leaders are expected to confirm at a meeting this week.
The EU did not guarantee the entry in 2007 by any means, because the accession treaties for Romania and Bulgaria contain "super safeguard clauses" that could delay their entry until 2008 if they are not deemed to be ready by 2007.
The negotiations with Romania began in February 2000. Officials said that Romania worked hard to bring his laws and economic practices in line with EU requirements, yet still have some way to go.
Geoana said "there will be no need to activate the safeguard clauses," because Romania will complete the necessary reforms.
In an interview with the BBC, the future president of Romania, Traian Basescu, said that his government will ask to renegotiate two of the EU accession negotiation chapters, energy and competition, in order to reach a better agreement for the country.
Basescu is dissatisfied with how the two chapters were closed which stipulate the reduction of steel production by 2 million tons per year and the alignment of energy prices starting in 2007.
In response, Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot, whose country is currently leading the EU, said that reopening negotiations would be to Romania's detriment.
Bot said Romania has the right to reopen the negotiations, but strongly recommended the country not to take this path.
The minister added that during the Brussels summit scheduled to take place this Thursday and Friday, the government leaders of EU countries will announce that they plan to sign the accession treaty with Romania and Bulgaria as late as the beginning of May, 2005.
He said that this date will be maintained even if Romania decides to reopen the negotiation chapters.
"That would mean four more months for the negotiations," said Bot, expressing his hope that the negotiations would be closed by the end of April. Romania and Bulgaria are tied together by one accession treaty, he concluded.
Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 12/15/2004 09:38:00 am
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