Netherlands Remains Most Critical EU Member on Romania, Bulgaria

Publish date: 14-02-2009
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The Netherlands says it is and will remain the most critical EU member state regarding supervision of the degree to which Bulgaria and Romania are sticking to the accession agreement.

"We see that the Bulgarians and Romanians have stepped up their efforts, but we continue to consider that insufficient concrete results are being booked. Continued pressure is therefore important," according to European Affairs State Secretary Timmermans. He was reacting in his statement to the interim reports published Thursday by the European Commission on the progress the two countries must make within the framework of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM).

"The persistent pressure on Romania and Bulgaria to tackle the corruption and organised crime is having an effect," according to the Netherlands. The European Commission does however conclude according to Timmermans that in Bulgaria, "insufficient concrete results have still been achieved," though "in the past six months a number of important steps have been taken, such as improving the professionalism, transparency and efficiency of jurisprudence." On Romania, the commission says that "the reforms appear to be stagnating," he adds.

The Netherlands continues to demand that the CVM "remains unabatedly in force" for Bulgaria and Romania. "We remain the most critical member state and at the same time, also the most involved member state, because we are unabatedly continuing our efforts to help these countries with the improvement of the constitutional state," according to Timmermans.

"For the Dutch government, it is crystal-clear that if more concrete results are not booked by the final reports in June, further measures against both countries will be unavoidable. Here, after all, the credibility of the enlargement is at risk: criteria for membership apply not only before but also after accession, and it is our duty to address other member states about this, just as much as we can be addressed by them about our behaviour."

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