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Financial Times: Romania and Bulgaria will meet EU standards in 10 years

Vineri, 29 iunie 2007, 0:00

"The cowardly approach" of problems by Romania and Bulgaria in the European Commission report " undermines the reformers in both countries by robbing them of some powerful weapons they could use in their domestic battles", reads a rough article published by Financial Times on Friday.

According to FT, the way the European Commission presented its report "deprives the people of Romania and Bulgaria of the full benefits of membership. Finally, it exposes the whole union to ridicule: how can the EU fight for the rule of law elsewhere in the world when it cannot impose it on its own members?"

The British daily appreciates that Brussels had a chance this week to sanction Bucharest and Sofia for "dragging their feet" in the anti-graft campaign. But the result was " watered down under pressure from the Romanian and Bulgarian commissioners and, more surprisingly, from Franco Frattini, the justice commissioner".

" The embarrassing truth is that the EU knew long ago that Romania and Bulgaria would not be ready for membership in 2007. Officials knew crime and corruption would be big issues, particularly for Bulgaria. But they went ahead, judging (correctly) that public opinion was moving fast against enlargement. Delay could have upset the whole process", the article reads.

The conclusion is devastating: " This campaign will succeed only when local elites realize they have more to gain than to lose by adopting EU standards in public life. That will take time - perhaps a decade or more. But the fight must start now, or it may not start at all", FT reads.

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