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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
EU assesses Balkan bids - key points
The European Commission has published key reports on the EU membership bids of Romania and Bulgaria.

The reports say both are on track to join the EU in 2007 - provided they continue implementing reforms as outlined below.

ROMANIA

  • Economy: "Romania has, with increasing success, implemented a policy mix aimed at achieving lasting economic stability.

    "The legal framework for a market economy has strengthened, but a better business environment remains dependent on improvements in the judiciary and the public administration."

  • Corruption: "Corruption in Romania remains a widespread problem which affects almost all aspects of society. There has been no reduction in perceived levels of corruption and the number of successful prosecutions remains low, particularly for high-level corruption.

    "The fight against corruption is hampered by integrity problems, even within institutions that are involved in law enforcement and the fight against corruption."

  • Media freedom: "Media organisations are not economically viable and their continued existence depends on the support of political or business interests.

    "Journalists' reporting can often be influenced by financial inducements leading to self-censorship.

    "Cases of serious physical attacks against journalists have increased. Investigative journalists have been a particular target."

  • Human trafficking: "Romania remains the country of origin, transit and destination for victims of trafficking in human beings. The main targets of traffickers are young women and girls who are sexually exploited in destination countries.

    "There are also children and disabled persons who are trafficked in order to be used as street beggars."

  • Human rights: "Despite positive legislative developments, cases have still been reported of ill-treatment in police stations, prisons and psychiatric hospitals.

    Reports of violence have been the most common in the case disadvantaged categories such as Roma."

BULGARIA

  • Economy: "Bulgaria is a functioning market economy. The continuation of its current reform path should enable Bulgaria to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union."

  • Corruption: "Bulgaria has implemented several measures in the fight against corruption, but it remains a problem. Renewed efforts are needed, including tackling high-level corruption."

  • Freedom of expression: "The freedom of expression is ensured by law. However, the legal framework regarding libel and defamation by journalists needs to be revised."

  • Human trafficking: "Trafficking in human beings is a serious problem and needs to be addressed."




SEE ALSO:
EU ready for Balkan newcomers
05 Oct 04 |  Europe
Q&A: EU enlargement
18 Jun 04 |  Europe
Country profile: Bulgaria
14 Jul 04 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Romania
01 Sep 04 |  Country profiles


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