Wednesday, June 27, 2007

EU sanctions unlikely against Bulgaria, Romania: diplomat

Source: EUbusiness
26 June 2007, 18:11 CET

(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission is unlikely to sanction Bulgaria and Romania in a report this week even though the two still have much work to do to battle corruption, an EU diplomat said Tuesday.

"The report will show that Bulgaria and Romania have made progress in some areas but they must still make greater efforts, particularly in fighting corruption," the diplomat said, on condition of anonymity.

The commission is due to release the report Wednesday.

The two states joined the EU in January but are under strict surveillance for the first three years of membership because of their poor degree of readiness.

Their fellow member states, and the commission, will be able to launch sanctions against the two for failures in their judicial systems or in the management of EU funds and food safety.

They could refuse to recognise legal decisions taken in the two states or suspend farm aid to them.

The commission considers that it does "not yet have enough elements" to decide "at this stage" whether to activate the so-called safeguard clauses against Bulgaria and Romania, the diplomat said.

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