Top Romanian officials will attend the summer European Council in Brussels on Thursday and Friday expecting to hear a clear statement from EU leaders that they support the accession of Romania on January 1, 2007.

President Traian Basescu, PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, Foreign minister Mihai Ungureanu and EU Integration minister Anca Boagiu will use the occasion to deliver arguments that Romania will be ready to join the Union early next year.

President Basescu will also renew his call that the countries that have not yet ratified the Accession Treaty of Romania and Bulgaria do so fast in order to prevent an extension of the January 1 deadline the two countries have set for joining the EU.

The Council gathers a day after the European Parliament adopted a resolution recommending European leaders to clearly specify at their reunion in Brussels that they support the January 1 date of entry if Romania and Bulgaria manage to push enough reforms in the remaining half of year.

According to a draft final statement of the Council, obtained by Reuters and largely quoted in Romanian media today, the EU leaders are ready to give course to the EP recommendation.