The EU Commission President has told Bulgaria that it is running out of time to launch reforms needed to join the bloc in 2007.
Manuel Durao Barroso issued his warning to Bulgaria’s new Prime Minister during his first visit to Brussels.
Sergei Stanishev’s Socialist-led coalition government was sworn in this month after weeks of political squabbling that followed an inconclusive general election in June.
After the pair held talks, Barroso said it was important for Sofia’s parliament to actually implement political and economic reforms.
Bulgaria and neighbouring Romania, which missed the EU’s first wave of enlargement into the ex-communist eastern Europe last year, signed the accession treaty in April.
But their membership could be delayed until 2008 if they fail to introduce agreed reforms on rooting out corruption, beefing up border controls and strengthening their administrative and judicial systems.