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Positive EC report on Romania's EU accession - mechanism for verification of progress in the areas of judicial reform, the fight against corruption

At a plenary sitting of the European Parliament held on September 26, the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso presented the final report on the accession of Bulgaria and Romania, which recommended that the European Council admit the two candidates on January 1, 2007.

However, taking into account the widespread concern within the EU that neither Romania nor Bulgaria is really ready for membership, Brussels has attached unprecedented safeguards to the first three years of their membership.

Barroso said that the EU was setting up monitoring mechanisms to ensure that reforms would continue beyond January 1 in the areas of judicial reform, the fight against corruption, and organized crime."

The new EU states must also prove they have the administrative capacity to securely handle the EU funds involved in the agriculture and regional aid programs - or some of the funds will be withheld.