The European Commission report in May this year will be „objective and neutral" but will be decisive for the setting of a date for Romania’s accession in the EU, a senior EU official said in Bucharest on Thursday.

EC Enlargement director Michael Leigh said the report will let European commissioners decide whether Romania should join on January 1 2007 or later.

The May report will be followed by a renewed evaluation in November 2006, but it will be a technical one that will only identify any fields where Romanian preparations might not be enough.

Michael Leigh was in Romania to held talks with Romanian authorities over the stage of preparations for Romania’s accesion in January next year.