European Commission vice-president Franco Frattini was in Bucharest on Monday for what are seen as the most important talks of this kind before Romania learns of the EC position on its European accession efforts later this spring.

Frattini’s schedule included talks with Romanian President Traian Basescu, PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu, Justice minister Monica Macovei and others focused mainly on measures to reform the country’s judicial system.

Frattini’s visit to Bucharest comes as EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn pressed on Saturday for Romania and Bulgaria to intensify their anti-corruption campaign or risk missing the target date for their European admission, January 1 2007.

An official EU stand on the preparation of the two countries for accession is due to be released in May.

Before his visit to Bucharest, The EC vice-president said in an interview with Romanian newspaper Cotidianul that "it would be a disaster for Romania" if Justice minister Macovei failed to receive political support for her moves against corruption and for the reform of the judicial system.

Speaking of recent votes in the Romanian Parliament to reject a governmental ordinance establishing the National Anti-Corruption Department – which was later regulated – and a prosecutors’ request to search the properties of House speaker Adrian Nastase, Frattini said in the interview: „It would be totally insate to play with the future of the country, with its accession" to the EU.