Why is Bulgaria not part of Romania?

Romania and Bulgaria

Olaf Leiße

To person

Dr. phil., born 1966; Chair for International Relations, University of Erfurt. Nordhäuser Strasse 63, 99089 Erfurt.
Email: [email protected]

For both countries, joining the EU is the top political priority, but continuing the transformation of the economy and fighting corruption remain major challenges.


When the European Commission presented its progress reports for Romania and Bulgaria on May 16, 2006, it remained true to the line it had taken so far. The reports contain neither a recommendation for the two countries to join the European Union (EU) on January 1, 2007, nor is it rejected. [1] Rather, the progress and deficits in the process of rapprochement between the two countries are meticulously listed, further political and financial support promised and a renewed review announced in October 2006. Then EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn will not be able to avoid a clear statement.

In principle, the inclusion of both countries in the EU, unlike in the case of Turkey, is politically undisputed. Romania and Bulgaria are part of the European continent, have a long European history and are politically, economically and culturally linked to Europe. Nevertheless, the accession process turns out to be more difficult than for the other, already acceding states of Central and Eastern Europe. Political and economic deficits mean that both countries are under constant observation by the EU and that there are repeated threats to withdraw their membership pledges. In the case of Romania, a resolution of the European Parliament in February 2004 contained unusually clear words: "The European Parliament regrets that, despite the progress made in a number of areas, Romania is currently facing serious difficulties in meeting the requirements of the Copenhagen political criteria, and it expresses itself Concerned that accession negotiations will not be concluded in late 2004 and accession in 2007. "[2] Based on the Commission's autumn 2003 report on Romania's progress towards accession [3], the document introduced the Shortcomings in the country's political, administrative and economic system. In this context, the rapporteur for Romania in the European Parliament, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, even spoke of deliberate misleading by the Romanian authorities.

Romania and Bulgaria reacted to the pressure to Europeanise with the assurance that the necessary reforms would be an absolute priority. This article looks at the difficult path the two countries have made into the EU and examines the political and economic problems that could jeopardize admission on January 1, 2007. [4]