A decade on from joining the European Union, what impact has membership had on Bulgaria and Romania?
This is what readers on Euronews’ Facebook page had to say, reacting to our original story on the subject, which you can read here.
Cristi Marin: “The best thing ever happened for Romania was to join the EU. No question and no doubts about it.”
Măriuca Bolk-Ionescu: “We were treated worse than refugees. 2007 -accepted in European Union and only in 2014 we were allowed to work, even if we have smart and qualified people. I have not forgotten this huge injustice!
“EU is/was a big dream but now, in Brussels, are working a lot of idiots, in all kind of dubious institutions…. and almost all politicians are spending money…by doing nothing. I don t think anymore it should be a big ‘celebration’. EU seems to be a big fiasco and a big spending money machine.”
Străistaru Eugen: “Best thing ever to happen. Sure there are voices saying we should move closer to the red bear, because he tolerates corruption and crime. But my say is to keep strong and become stronger with the EU.”
Ted Konstantinov: “EU is the best thing that happened to Bulgaria since 1944.”
Velizar Tonchev: “I’m going to celebrate! This is the best thing to ever happen to us Bulgarians.. Honestly, I have seen the actual change in people for the past 10 years.. We still have a long way to go, but among the few improvements are: a ton of new programmes and projects, concerned with development of all sorts; the absolutely undeniable improvements in Sofia infrastructure like the metro, but also paved streets and new public buses and trams. The relative political stability and the increased trustworthiness that came with our membership drew massive waves of foreign investment; many international companies outsourced their services here, which is now probably the biggest source of income for the young. Not to mention the diffusion of intellect, which was the result of the open borders, of the growing international community in Bulgaria, of the people, who came back after receiving a western education, but above all, who have managed to import with them at least a little bit of the so lacking here emotional intelligence. Thank you, Europe!”
Daniela Vukovska: “The problem is not EU, the problem is our national government. You can’t rely someone to make your life better if you don’t want or can’t do it on your own. The other members of the Union are one of the best grossing countries in the world and they basically are the main sponsors of these funds. So do we want to be a constant beggars or proud member of the Union?”
Victor Cioboata: “I don’t know about Bulgaria ..but EU is the big mistake that Romania did….”
Alexander Iliev: “If there is no EU our region will be a total mess again. It will be the end of everything! EU is great for us and I hope it stays strong! 2017 should be great!!!”
Jeni Staikova: “Our countries relied primarily on EU funds to improve infrastructure, they did not develop the economy. All these foreign investments are not really what is going to make our societies wealthier, as they make sure to pay as little taxes as possible. They create jobs, but pay African wages and many people went to work in Western Europe. We see now Europe of two tiers, which is not the initial idea of creating it.”
Luka Međugorac: “As far as I know both Romanians and Bulgarians live far more better then before, actually then ever before in their history. After Ceausescu’s mad dictatorship and epidemic hunger they can travel, work in the EU, invest and live normal lives. Suppose the same is for Bulgarians.”
Петя Петкова: “It’s not true for Bulgarians. Ten years in, the EU destroyed finally Bulgaria’s economy. Bulgarians live worse than ever.The EU brings benefit only to 3-4 countries. All other members of the EU are exploited in their advantage.”
Laurentiu Bratu: “Being part of EU is a true benefit for Romania. No question about it. Otherwise, the country would have been some kind of latin Belorussa.”
Tiberius Mehedintu: “Bulgaria and Romania have only one reason to toast their 10 years in EU: being more poor than before.Thanks to EU!”
Andrei Savah: “I remember being in Bucharest central square with some random Croatian tourists that I actually met that day while going to celebrate new year’s eve and the new admission into the EU. They were there to welcome us and see what’s it like to enter the EU as it was happening. A few years later their country joined too. They were so happy for us, I never saw foreigners so excited about another country since the invention of the Eurovision. Yes that night was amazing, so many people out in the streets celebrating. If I were to think about that night, nobody ever imagined things would get so complicated nowadays, we were just dreaming of getting back to where we belonged. Meeting those guys out of the blue and celebrating together one’s victory was all about the EU back then. We were even amazed the Croatians weren’t already in.”
Koko Dyulgerski:“It is good. Not perfect but much better than what it was before that.”
Laurentiu Bratu: “10 years after, I’m having over 10 friends that have been working abroad for some years now. And I know another 10 that want to leave Romania too. Time will pass, Romanian politicians remain the same.”