Wednesday, June 27, 2007

EU asks Bulgaria and Romania to take action on corruption

Brussels (Thomson Financial) - The European Commission has asked Bulgaria and Romania to take more action to fight corruption but has decided not to slap sanctions on them for failing to meet reform benchmarks.

The commission said in a report that Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU on January 1, had progressed on judicial reform but that they needed to make a determined effort to implement the changes.
The EU executive said it would not trigger so-called 'safeguard clauses' that have been put in place for the first three years of the two countries' membership because of their poor degree of readiness.'The commission has not proposed at this stage the use of safeguard clauses as sufficient progress has been made to suggest that in time the benchmarks can be met by the Bulgarian and Romanian governments,' it said in a statement.

Their fellow member states, and the commission, are allowed to apply sanctions against the two countries for failures in their judicial systems or in the management of EU funds and food safety.
They could also refuse to recognise legal decisions taken in the two states or suspend farm aid to them.nina.chestney@thomson.com

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