Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Questions (100)

Gerard Murphy

Question:

232 Mr. Murphy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the timescale for the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the European Union; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25212/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

The European Union's objective, as stated in the European Council Conclusions of 17-18 June, is that both Bulgaria and Romania should conclude negotiations in 2004, sign the accession treaty in 2005 and accede in January 2007, if they are ready. Negotiations will be concluded on the same basis and principles which applied to the ten new member states which acceded on 1 May 2004.

On 6 October 2004, the European Commission published its annual reports on progress towards the EU accession of Bulgaria and Romania, as well as an overall strategy paper on progress in the enlargement process. The Commission makes clear in these reports that both Bulgaria and Romania have made good progress this year in their preparations for EU accession.