2007 enlargement of the European Union

2007 enlargement of the European Union

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The 2007 enlargement of the European Union saw Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 and Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 join the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) on 1 January 2007. It was the latest expansion of the
Enlargement of the European Union
The Enlargement of the European Union is the process of expanding the European Union through the accession of new member states. This process began with the Inner Six, who founded the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952...

 EU, though considered by the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 as part of the same wave (the fifth) as the 2004 enlargement of the European Union
2004 enlargement of the European Union
The 2004 enlargement of the European Union was the largest single expansion of the European Union , both in terms of territory, number of states and population, however not in terms of gross domestic product...

.

Negotiations


Romania was the first country of post-communist European country to have official relations with the European Community. In 1974, a treaty included Romania in the Community's Generalized System of Preferences
Generalized System of Preferences
The Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP, is a formal system of exemption from the more general rules of the World Trade Organization ,...

. Since the Romanian Revolution of 1989, European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) membership has been the main goal of every Romanian Government
Politics of Romania
Politics of Romania take place in a framework of a semi-presidential parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Romania is the head of government and the President of Romania exercises the functions of head of state. Romania has a multi-party system. Executive...

 and practically every political party in Romania. Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 signed its Europe Agreement in 1993 and submitted its official application for membership in the EU in 1995, the third of the post–communist European countries to do so after Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 and Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. Along with its official EU application, Romania submitted the “Snagov Declaration
Snagov Declaration
Snagov DeclarationRomania signed its Europe Agreement in 1993 and submitted its official application for membership in the EU in 1995, the third country to do so after Hungary and Poland. Along with its official EU application, Romania submitted the “Snagov Declaration,” signed by all fourteen...

”, signed by all fourteen major political parties declaring their full support for EU membership.

During the 2000s, Romania implemented a number of reforms to prepare for EU accession, including the consolidation of its democratic systems, the institution of the rule of law, the acknowledgement of respect for human rights, the commitment to personal freedom of expression, and the implementation of a functioning free-market economy. The objective of joining the EU has also influenced Romania's regional relations. As a result, Romania has imposed visa
Visa (document)
A visa is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter the territory for which it was issued, subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. The authorization may be a document, but more commonly it is a stamp endorsed in the applicant's passport...

 regimes on a number of states, including Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

.

Within the framework of integration meetings held between the EU member states and Bulgaria, an 'Association Committee' was held on 22 June 2004. It confirmed overall good progress for the preparation of accession; however, it highlighted the need for further reform of Bulgaria's judicial structures, particularly in its pre-trial phases, as well as the need for further efforts to fight against corruption and organized crime, including human trafficking
Human trafficking
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery...

. There was also, according to the report, limited progress regarding the integration of the Roma community
Roma in Bulgaria
The Roma in Bulgaria are the country's second largest minority and third largest ethnic group . According to the 2001 census, there were 370,908 Roma in Bulgaria, equivalent to 4.7% of the country's total population, making Bulgaria the European country with the highest percentage of Roma.Experts'...

. The findings were reflected in the 2004 Regular Report.

The Brussels European Council of December 17 2004 confirmed the conclusion of accession negotiations with Bulgaria. The 26 September 2006 monitoring report of the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 confirmed the date once more, also announcing that Bulgaria and Romania would meet no direct restrictions, but progress in certain areas — reforms of the judicial system, elimination of corruption and the struggle against organized crime — would be strictly monitored.

Cyrillic


With this accession, the Cyrillic alphabet
Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

 became the third official alphabet of the EU, after the Latin
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

 and Greek
Greek alphabet
The Greek alphabet is the script that has been used to write the Greek language since at least 730 BC . The alphabet in its classical and modern form consists of 24 letters ordered in sequence from alpha to omega...

 alphabets. Cyrillic will also be featured on the euro banknotes
Euro banknotes
Euro banknotes are the banknotes of the euro, the currency of the eurozone and have been in circulation since 2002. They are issued by the national central banks of the euro area or the European Central Bank...

 and the national (obverse) side of the Bulgarian euro coins
Bulgarian euro coins
Bulgaria aims to join the euro zone in more than three years. The country has set itself a target date of 1 January 2015 . The euro coins have not been designed yet, but the motif for all coins has been chosen to be the Madara Rider.-Selecting the design:...

. The ECB
European Central Bank
The European Central Bank is the institution of the European Union that administers the monetary policy of the 17 EU Eurozone member states. It is thus one of the world's most important central banks. The bank was established by the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1998, and is headquartered in Frankfurt,...

 and the EU Commission insisted that Bulgaria change the official name of the currency from ЕВРО (as accepted) to ЕУРО, claiming that the currency should have a standard spelling and pronunciation across the EU. For details, see Linguistic issues concerning the euro
Linguistic issues concerning the euro
Several linguistic issues have arisen in relation to the spelling of the words euro and cent in the many languages of the member states of the European Union, as well as in relation to grammar and the formation of plurals....

. The issue was decisively resolved in favour of Bulgaria at the 2007 EU Summit in Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, allowing Bulgaria to use the Cyrillic spelling евро on all official EU documents.
align=bottom style="text-align:left; font-size:smaller; " | Also available as a graphical image.
а б в г д е ё ж з и й к л м н о п р с т у ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я
а б в г д е ё ж з и й к л м н о п р с т у ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я

Treaty



The date of accession, 1 January 2007, was set at the Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

 Summit in 2003 and confirmed in Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 on 18 June 2004. Bulgaria, Romania and the EU-25 signed the Treaty of Accession
Treaty of Accession 2005
The Treaty of Accession 2005 is an agreement between the member states of European Union and Bulgaria and Romania. It entered into force on 1 January 2007. The Treaty arranged accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU and amended earlier Treaties of the European Union...

 on 25 April 2005 at Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

's Neumuenster Abbey.

The 26 September 2006 monitoring report of the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 confirmed the entry date as 1 January 2007. The last instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Accession was deposited with the Italian government on 20 December 2006 thereby ensuring it came into force on 1 January 2007.

Work restrictions




Some member states of the EU require Bulgarians and Romanians to acquire a permit to work, whilst members of all other member states do not require one. Currently, 15 member states allow Bulgarians and Romanians to work without a permit. Restrictions may remain in place until 2014 – 7 years after their accession.

Monitoring


While both countries were admitted, concerns about corruption and organised crime were still high. As a result, although they joined, they were subject to monitoring from the Commission through a Co-operation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) . It was initially set up for three years but has continued indefinitely and although it has highlighted the corruption and applied some pressure to continue reforms, it has not succeeded in forcing the two countries to complete reforms and corruption persists.

Commissioners



The accession treaty granted Bulgaria and Romania a seat, like every other state, on the Commission. Bulgaria nominated Meglena Kuneva
Meglena Kuneva
Meglena Shtilianova Kuneva is a Bulgarian and EU politician.Born in Sofia, Kuneva graduated in Law from Sofia University in 1981. In 1984 she became a Doctor of Law. She worked as a journalist for the Law Programme of the Bulgarian National Radio while being an Assistant Professor at Sofia...

, from NDSV who was given the post of Commissioner for Consumer Protection in the Barroso Commission
Barroso Commission
The Barroso Commission is the European Commission that has been in office since 22 November 2004 and is due to serve until 2014. Its president is José Manuel Barroso, who presides over 26 other commissioners...

, from 1 January 2007 until 31 October 2009. She was nominated in 2006 by the then current Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev
Sergey Stanishev
Sergei Dmitrievich Stanishev is a Bulgarian politician who was Prime Minister of Bulgaria from 2005 to 2009; currently he is Chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and Interim President of the Party of European Socialists...

. Romania nominated Leonard Orban
Leonard Orban
Leonard Orban is a Romanian independent technocrat who served as the Commissioner for Multilingualism in the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union . He was responsible for the EU language policy and was the first Romanian Commissioner and the first member of the Commission...

, an independent, who was made Commissioner for Multilingualism in the Barroso Commission
Barroso Commission
The Barroso Commission is the European Commission that has been in office since 22 November 2004 and is due to serve until 2014. Its president is José Manuel Barroso, who presides over 26 other commissioners...

, from 1 January 2007 until 31 October 2009. He was nominated in 2006 by the previous Romanian Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Romania
The Prime Minister of Romania is the head of the Government of Romania. Initially, the office was styled President of the Council of Ministers , when the term "Government" included more than the Cabinet, and the Cabinet was called The Council of Ministers...

 Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu
Calin Popescu-Tariceanu
Călin Constantin Anton Popescu-Tăriceanu is a Romanian politician. He was the Prime Minister of Romania between 29 December 2004 and 22 December 2008...

. Both were approved by Parliament to become Commissioners upon accession.

MEPs



Upon accession Bulgaria's 18 and Romania's 35 observer MEP
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

s became full voting representatives until each state held an election for the posts, which were mandated to happen before the end of the year. Bulgaria held its election on 20 May 2007
European Parliament election, 2007 (Bulgaria)
Bulgaria elected its members of the European Parliament in a by-election on 20 May 2007. It was the country's first European election, having joined the Union on 1 January of that year. The country now has 18 MEPs, no change from before the election. Previously Bulgaria was represented by MEPs...

 and Romania on the 25 November 2007
European Parliament election, 2007 (Romania)
Romania elected its members of the European Parliament for the first time on 25 November 2007; the election was initially scheduled for 13 May, but the PM postponed it for domestic political reasons...

.

See also

  • Treaty of Accession 2005
    Treaty of Accession 2005
    The Treaty of Accession 2005 is an agreement between the member states of European Union and Bulgaria and Romania. It entered into force on 1 January 2007. The Treaty arranged accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU and amended earlier Treaties of the European Union...

  • 6th European Parliament
    6th European Parliament
    The Sixth European Parliament was the sixth five-year term of the elected European Parliament. It began on Tuesday 20 July 2004 in Strasbourg following the 2004 elections and ended after the 2009 elections.-Major events:* 10-13 June 2004...

  • Enlargement of the European Union
    Enlargement of the European Union
    The Enlargement of the European Union is the process of expanding the European Union through the accession of new member states. This process began with the Inner Six, who founded the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952...

  • Future enlargement of the European Union
    Future enlargement of the European Union
    The future enlargement of the European Union is theoretically open to any European country which is democratic, operates a free market and is willing and able to implement all previous European Union law...

  • Statistics relating to enlargement of the European Union
  • 1995 enlargement of the European Union
    1995 enlargement of the European Union
    The 1995 enlargement of the European Union saw Austria, Finland and Sweden accede to the European Union . This was the EU's fourth enlargement and came into effect on the 1 January of that year. All these states were previous members of the European Free Trade Association and had traditionally...

  • 2004 enlargement of the European Union
    2004 enlargement of the European Union
    The 2004 enlargement of the European Union was the largest single expansion of the European Union , both in terms of territory, number of states and population, however not in terms of gross domestic product...