Romania lacks the enthusiasm experienced before joining the EU, Jonathan Scheele says

Publish date: 12-02-2008
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Romania's success is not guaranteed by its status of EU member and the country needs to exploit opportunities by making use of the enthusiasm experienced before joining the bloc, the former chief of the European Commission's delegation to Bucharest, Jonathan Scheele deems.

Scheele spent five years in Romania during his mandate. Asked about his view on the country, Scheele said it mostly lacks the enthusiasm and involvement it had before joining the bloc.

Scheele said there are many areas where he would have liked to see more progress. However, he misses the most the spirit and enthusiasm that animated people before joining the bloc.

Regarding EC's recent sharp report on justice, Scheele said he knows there are delays especially in eradicating high-level corruption. There are standard objectives in this respect which Romania must fulfill. The justice reform is under continuous monitoring in Brussels, officials showing discontent with recent progress, according to the last report released last week. Another report is awaited to be released in July this year.

Romania, which joined the European bloc on January 1, 2007, pledged to stamp out high-level corruption and reform the judiciary.

Scheele expressed his feeling that once a member, Romanian authorities think they can drop reforms and return to the old habits. If before joining there was an agenda establishing each step to be taken, the country is pretty much on its own now, Scheele said, asking: "Quo vadis, Romania?"

The Group for Social Dialog bestows Scheele today with the award on 2006 for constantly supporting Romania in the European accession process.


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