Romania and Bulgaria were not ready to join the European Union - this is what the Enlargement European commissioner Olli Rehn stated in an interview for La libre Belgique, quoted by Novinite. He noted that after the experience of Romania and Bulgaria's accession, the European Union learnt to stop setting fix dates for a country's accession before finalising the pre-accession negotiations, but to impose stricter criteria, just like it is now happening in EU's relationship with Croatia.

Olli Rehn was recently designated Economic and Monetary Affairs commissioner. In his interview for La libre Belgique, he mentioned that at the moment when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU, the European Commission did not have the right to vote in the pre-accession negotiations.

"This is the reason why, during the Dutch EU presidency, I proposed the mechanism of control and cause, which would have postponed the accession, had there been the need to do so. But the Bulgarian and Romanian governments took serious reforms on board", Olli Rehn says.

"Regarding Turkey, we cannot open any chapter in the pre-accession negotiations before making sure that the laws addressing freedom of speech have been completely reformed. The quality is much more important than speed", the EC official concluded.