Accession of Romania to the European Union


Accession of Romania to the European Union

The Accession of Romania to the European Union took place on 1 January 2007. This date was set at the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003 and confirmed in Brussels on 18 June 2004. The country reports of October 2004 also affirmed the 1 January 2007 date of accession for both Bulgaria and Romania. The Treaty of Accession was signed on 25 April 2005 at Luxembourg's Neumünster Abbey. The 26 September 2006 [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/26_09_06_fullreport.pdf monitoring report] of the European Commission 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.

History

Since the Romanian Revolution of 1989, European Union (EU) membership has been the main goal of every Romanian Government and practically every political party in Romania. Romania signed its Europe Agreement in 1993 [ [http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1082826393657&print=true Chronology of the Fifth EU Enlargement] , Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom] and submitted its official application for membership in the EU in 1995, the third of the post-Cold War Eastern European countries to do so after Hungary and Poland. Along with its official EU application, Romania submitted the “Snagov Declaration”, signed by all fourteen major political parties declaring their full support for EU membership. [Melanie H. Ram, Ph.D., Sub-regional Cooperation and European Integration: Romania’s Delicate Balance]

During the 2000s, Romania implemented a number of reforms in order 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.

hort history of EU integration

Romania was the first country of Central and Eastern Europe to have official relations with the European Community. In 1974, a treaty included Romania in the Community's Generalized System of Preferences.

1974 - Romania’s inclusion in the Community's Generalized System of Preferences,

The most important events which mark the clear decision of Romania to integrate into the Euro-Atlantic structures as a strategic option, constantly manifested after 1990, have been:

*1993 - Romania was granted membership in the Council of Europe.
**Romania signed an association agreement with the EU and a free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
**Romania was granted Most Favored Nation (MFN) status in its trade relations with the United States.
*1994 - Romania became an associate member of the EU.
*1997 - Romania became a member of CEFTA (the Central European Free Trade Agreement).
*1999 - Romania was elected chairman of the OSCE for 2001.
** Romania was officially invited to membership talks, starting in February 2000, at the EU Summit in Helsinki.
*2000 15 February - Romania officially started accession negotiations.
*2002 21-22 November - At a NATO summit in Prague, the Heads of NATO member states adopted a decision to invite Romania to start NATO accession talks. Bulgaria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia were also invited to join NATO.
**The Copenhagen European Council in December confirmed the support of the Council for Romania's accession in 2007, and the EU used the occasion to maintain negotiation pace with Romania.
*2003 December - The European Council stated that "Welcoming Bulgaria and Romania in January 2007, if they are ready, is the common objective of the Union of 25".
*2004 29 March - Romania officially became a NATO member, together with six other states in Central and Eastern Europe.
**According to the Commission [http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/report_2004/pdf/rr_ro_2004_en.pdf Regular Report 2004] , Romania fulfilled the political criteria. It had also consolidated and deepened the stability of its institutions. However, the report suggested, the effectiveness of governmental and judiciary reforms was dependent on Romania's ability to effectively implement the changes.
** December – Closure of the accession negotiations. The European Summit's conclusions supported Romania's accession in 2007. The European Council also asserted that Romania would meet all of the requirements of membership by the planned date of accession, provided it continued its efforts to that end and completed all necessary reforms and commitments undertaken, in particular important commitments regarding Justice, 'Competition' and Environment.
*2005 25 April – signing of the Accession Treaty in Luxembourg: Romania and Bulgaria signed the Treaty of Accession to the EU. The final act states that: Romania and Bulgaria will join EU on 1 January 2007.
*2006 16 May - an EU report to the European Parliament on the entry of Romania and Bulgaria said it was still possible for Romania to enter on schedule but listed areas in which progress had to be made to meet the target date. For Romania, this was in the areas of food safety and setting-up agencies to pay EU farm aids. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4984922.stm (ref)]
*2006 26 September - The final monitoring report on Romania by the European Commission recommended accession on 1 January 2007. A final vote in the European Council finalised this in October; it was anticipated there would be no further obstacles to accession.
*2007 1 January - Romania became a member of the EU.

Effect on the future direction of the EU

Romania's strategic geopolitical location will influence the EU's policy towards its relations with all of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Turkey, and Asia. In the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), Romania has an opportunity to demonstrate its leadership in the region.

The objective of joining the EU has also influenced Romania's regional relations. As a result, Romania has imposed visa regimes on a number of states, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey and Moldova.

Officials consider Romania to be both a part of Central Europe and a part of SEE. This reflects the Romanian government's dual ambitions today of strengthening Romania's chances of Euro-Atlantic integration while also being seen as a leader and a zone of stability and democracy in its immediate neighborhood.

Effect on Moldova

In the early 1990s, both in Romania and Moldova, there has was a movement towards a union the two countries, however it has lost momentum by the late 90s.According to Romanian laws, any Moldovan citizen whose parents or grandparents lived on the territory of Moldova in 1940 can claim Romanian citizenship. This makes all Moldovan citizens, except Soviet-era immigrants, eligible for Romanian passports. [http://www.ukip.org/ukip_news/gen12.php?t=1&id=2644 Now 300,000 Moldovans get a back door into Britain] At least 300,000, and possibly many more, Moldovans submitted applications for a Romanian passport in the last months of 2006. With the inclusion of Romania into the EU, these passports would allow them to travel and seek jobs in the EU countries. However, since 2001, due to changes in the Romanian law, significant bureaucratic barriers have slowed down this process to a mere trickle: no more than a few hundred Romanian citizenships have been granted each year. [ [http://haga.mae.ro/index.php?lang=en&id=31&s=14258&arhiva=true Diplomacy.ro :: ] ]

References

ee also

*Enlargement of the European Union
*Treaty of Accession 2005
*Accession of Bulgaria to the European Union
*Romanian membership of the European Union
*Snagov Declaration

External links

* [http://www.mae.ro/ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania]
* [http://www.guv.ro/ Government of Romania]
* [http://www.mie.ro/ Ministry of European Integration]
* [http://europa.eu/index_en.htm Gateway to the European Union]
* [http://www.infoeuropa.ro/jsp/page.jsp?cid=50&lid=2&changeLangEv=1 Infoeuropa Centre]


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