The debate of MEPs in Strasbourg on the European Commission's report on Romania hasn't actually unveiled something we didn't know. The report has neither tempered our enthusiasm nor provided certitude concerning Romania's accession in January 1, 2007 we have been longing for. Bucharest officials, along with the press and all Romanians knew already that there were four fields under red flags needing improvement. There are also more 44 chapters we must make progress with, since the EU officials decided yellow flags. The report presented by the EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn expresses the EU consent to Romania's accession, but on condition that the flaws pointed to are settled before the elaboration of the next report, due in November 2006.
Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, head of the European Commission, said Bulgaria and Romania would be able to join the EU in January 1, 2007, if they solved some problems causing concern.
Although they didn't utter a word such as 'postponement', the EU officials neither decided on a date for accession. If the decision on it is reached in October, there will be no time left for procedures to ratify the Treaty of Accession with Romania and Bulgaria by the Parliaments of EU states. This is a risk to consider, since only 11 out of the 25 EU states are to ratify the document. Let's hope the Parliaments in these 11 countries will take into account Commissioner Rehn's opinion, as he is claiming that the report is to be interpreted as advise for intensifying treaty ratification procedures. (D.E.)