2007 enlargement of the European Union

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The 2007 enlargement of the European Union saw Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union (EU) on 1 January 2007. Together with the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, it is considered part of the fifth wave of enlargement of the European Union.[1]

Romania was the first country of post-communist Europe to have official relations with the European Community. In 1974, a treaty included Romania in the Community's Generalized System of Preferences. Since the Romanian Revolution of 1989, membership of the EC, and its successor the European Union (EU), has been the main goal of every Romanian Government and practically every political party in Romania. Romania signed its Europe Agreement in 1993,[2] and submitted its official application for membership in the EU on 22 June 1995 and Bulgaria submitted its official application for membership in the EU on 14 December 1995, the third and the fourth of the post–communist European countries to do so after Hungary and Poland. Along with its official EU application, Romania submitted the Snagov Declaration, signed by all fourteen major political parties declaring their full support for EU membership.[3]

During the 2000s, Bulgaria and Romania implemented a number of reforms to prepare for EU accession, including the consolidation of its democratic systems, the institution of the rule of law, the acknowledgement of respect for human rights, the commitment to personal freedom of expression, and the implementation of a functioning free-market economy. The objective of joining the EU has also influenced Romania's regional relations. As a result, Bulgaria and Romania have imposed visa regimes on a number of states, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey and Moldova.

Within the framework of integration meetings held between the EU member states and the EU candidate states Bulgaria and Romania, an 'Association Committee' was held on 22 June 2004. It confirmed overall good progress for the preparation of accession; however, it highlighted the need for further reform of judicial structures in both Bulgaria and Romania, particularly in its pre-trial phases, as well as the need for further efforts to fight against political corruption and organized crime, including human trafficking. The findings were reflected in the 2004 Regular Report for Bulgaria and Romania.[4]

The Brussels European Council of December 17, 2004 confirmed the conclusion of accession negotiations with Bulgaria and Romania.[5] The 26 September 2006 of the European Commission[6] confirmed the date once more, also announcing that Bulgaria and Romania would meet no direct restrictions, but progress in certain areas — reforms of the judicial system, elimination of corruption and the struggle against organized crime — would be strictly monitored.[clarification needed]

With this accession, Cyrillic became the third official alphabet of the EU, after the Latin and Greek alphabets.[7] Cyrillic will also be featured on the euro banknotes and the national (obverse) side of the Bulgarian euro coins. The ECB and the EU Commission insisted that Bulgaria change the official name of the currency from ЕВРО (EVRO) (as accepted) to ЕУРО (EURO), claiming that the currency should have a standard spelling and pronunciation across the EU.[8] For details, see Linguistic issues concerning the euro. The issue was decisively resolved in favour of Bulgaria at the 2007 EU Summit in Lisbon, allowing Bulgaria to use the Cyrillic spelling евро on all official EU documents.[9][10]

The date of accession, 1 January 2007, was set at the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003 and confirmed in Brussels on 18 June 2004. Bulgaria, Romania and the EU-25 signed the Treaty of Accession on 25 April 2005 at Luxembourg's Neumuenster Abbey.

This page was last edited on 7 June 2018, at 15:43 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accession_of_Bulgaria_to_the_European_Union under CC BY-SA license.

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