25 June 2007, Monday
Bulgaria and Romania escape safeguard clauses, sanctioning them over their progress in the field of justice and the fight against corruption, but have to stay under EU Commission's watch till mid 2008, reports due to be published on 27 June state.
The news on the progress reports on the two countries cropped up simultaneously from the EUexpands.com, Europe.bg and Radio France Internacional Romania on Monday.
None of the countries have fully addressed the "benchmarks" set out in the connection with fighting corruption and justice reform.
Brussels chose not to punish the two by the activation of the safeguard clause, as the EU Accession Treaty gives the possibility to do, but to maintain the pressure on both Bucharest and Sofia.
Therefore, since some progress is listed, the conclusions of the report on Bulgaria, which is said to have performed less impressively compared to Romania, is believed to escape punishment if continues efforts with "diligence".
EU Commission experts say they would update these reports in the beginning of 2008 and then make a detailed analysis in mid 2008.
Brussels officials, as quoted by Radio France International, warn that tolerance is out of the question in the fight against corruption for both countries.
The main accent in the report on Bulgaria is on the justice system, the fight against corruption and organized crime.
Reforms in the justice system and fight against corruption and organized crime are on a larger scale and Bulgaria would need many years to implement them properly, the report states.