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Sofia, Bucharest uneasy EU membership status

brussels bureau

Sofia, Bucharest uneasy EU membership status


The conclusion of the European Commission’s draft report on the fitness of Bulgaria and Romania to join the EU is still blank.
The EU leaders are supposed to use this recommendation as the basis of their decision in June.

The report is due out on Tuesday but a postponement of the final choice is in the wind. Foremost among the so-called red flag concerns in which the countries must make improvements is a failure to set up payment agencies for EU farm subsidies and regional aid.

Brussels has not said whether it considers the two Balkan countries are far enough along with their reforms to qualify to join the EU next year or in January 2008.

Other areas of concern include disfunctional justice systems and corruption, and there have been no tangible results in prosecuting organised crime. But, since October, Romania has reduced the number of red flags to four from 14 and Bulgaria to six from 16.

Under their accession treaty, the EU can postpone entry of one or both candidates and impose safeguards once they join.

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