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  Nr. 3640 de sambata, 3 iunie 2006 
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Romania asks EU for help to fight bird flu
At least informally, Romania agreed to get support from the European Commission to fight the bird flu. Philip Tod, the European Commission's spokesman, confirmed yesterday morning that Romania agreed to get help from the EU. They were expecting official solicitation to send EU experts in the field to Romania as soon as possible.
Ever since last October Brussels officials have been waiting for Romania to do this. EU experts came to Romania right when the bird flu emerged at that time and announced the Commission's willingness to provide aid.
It is true Romania didn't express official refusal. It simply didn't reply at all. Had it been otherwise, they would have broken rules on cooperation with the EU. But it was nonetheless a refusal, since Romania asked the WHO and the FAO for help officially and they both are UN structures.
What will EU experts do this time? Last autumn they provided technical expertise and know-how. EU sources claim experts' first and most urgent mission is to evaluate the real state of things as thoroughly as possible and look into the real means to fight the epidemics, used by central and especially by local authorities. They are also aimed at analyzing the quality of disinfecting substances and the quarantine as well.
After accomplishing such mission in collaboration with Romanian authorities in the field, they will decide on next priorities. Still it is to be mentioned that "Romanian authorities are responsible for taking all the measures needed for controlling the epidemics". Can this end up with turning one yellow flag on Romania into a red one in the next European Commission's monitoring report on Romania? Tod wouldn't comment on the report to be released in autumn, claiming the Commission would have to make a decision in early October, considering all the information available.
Cristian UNTEANU, Brussels 
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