EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn was expacted to make a statement before the European Parliament foreign affairs committee on Monday on the progress registered by Romania and Bulgaria for their accession on January 1, 2007. According to press agency reports, Rehn’s hearing was to be held behind closed doors at the request of Elmar Brok, the head of the EP committee.

EC sources have said Olli Rehn’s evaluation would be positive about the two countries and that the European official would support their accession in 2007 if they kept the current pace of reform.

The European Commission is due to take a clear stand in this regard in a report to be published in May, but the final decision would be made at the European Council in June this year.

Rehn has recently re-affirmed that Romania reported progress compared to the last EC report in October 2005, but said the country’s efforts should continue. He was more cautious on Bulgaria, which he urged to produce a faster pace of reform.