Proiect engleza - European Union - 130 pagini referat






I. INTRODUCTION



Since the creation of the European Union its purpose has been to unite the European continent into one cohesive organization. In order for this goal to be fully realized all European nations must be included under this conglomeration of states. Unfortunately the process is not quite so simple. It takes years of careful evaluation of numerous factors most importantly including economic status, respect for international law and basic human rights, and military status amongst other numerous yet equally important facts. Before a state can be admitted it must first be determined that by admitting the state that it will have a generally good affect on the community as a whole and not simply benefit any single nation. Political orientation also plays a large role in deciding whether or not to accept a nation, since the organization was partially founded on the idea of “self determination”. After taking into consideration all these facts it is easy to see why it takes so long to approve a state for membership within the EU. Any hastily made decisions could quite easily have long lasting socio-economic impacts on other members of the union and make them weary to admit new members.




The European Union has been enlarging ever since it was created at the beginning of the 1950’s. The founding members called upon the people of Europe” who share their ideas to join their efforts”. Since then, it has grown from the initial six members to nine, ten, twelve and then to the current fifteen through a series of enlargements. The process is still continuing. The EU is now negotiating with twelve more candidates for membership, and preparing for negotiations with Turkey, as soon as the country fulfils the political accession criteria, including respect for human rights.

This latest enlargement is a consequence of the very nature of the EU. The success of the EU and the values it is based on has attracted successive waves of new members, from countries with a wide variety of economic and political backgrounds. Their integration into the EU has each time deepened the quality of the EU, for existing member states and new member states. Each successive enlargement has brought benefits to Europe’s citizens, new opportunities for European businesses and wider acceptance of European norms in fields ranging from consumer and environmental protection to political rights and social provision. The organic growth has enriched Europe as a whole.

Enlargement is one of the most important opportunities for the European Union as it begins the 21st Century. Its historic task is to further the integration of the continent by peaceful means, extending a zone of stability and prosperity to new members. In June 1993, at its Summit in Copenhagen, the European declared “the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe that so desire shall become members of the Union”. In December 1997, at Luxembourg the European Council launched the process that will make enlargement possible. This process presently embraces thirteen countries: Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Turkey. Accession negotiations are underway with the first twelve, and in June 2001 at Göteborg the European Council affirmed that the objective is to complete them by the end of 2002 with these countries that are ready to join, so that they can take part as members in the European Parliament’s elections of 2004.

The EU has a long history of successful enlargements. In 1957 six founding members signed the Treaty of Rome: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Four enlargements have followed:

1973: Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom

1981: Greece

1986: Portugal and Spain

1995: Austria, Finland and Sweden

The benefits of enlargement are both political and economic, and can be summarized as follows:

The extension of the zone of peace, stability and prosperity in Europe will enhance the security of all its peoples.

The addition of more than 100 million people, in rapidly growing economies, to the EU’s market of 370 million will boost economic growth and create jobs in both old and new member states.

There will be a better quality of life for citizens throughout Europe as the new members adopt the EU policies for protection of the environment and the fight against crime, drugs and illegal immigration.

Enlargement will strengthen the Union’s role in world affairs – in foreign and security policy, trade policy, and the other fields of global governance.

The Accession process from negotiations to ratification

On the basis of the recommendations of the European Commission in December 1997, the Luxembourg European Council decided to launch an “overall enlargement process” for all countries wishing to join the EU. It encompasses:

The European Conference, which brings together the countries aspiring to join the EU. The Conference is a multilateral forum for discussing issues of common interest, such as foreign and security policy, justice and home affairs, regional co-operation and economic matters. This conference met for the first time in London on 12 March 1998. In December 1999, the Helsinki European Council announced a review of the future of the European Council, so as to take account of the evolving situation. The Nice European Council in December 2000 concluded that the Balkan countries

covered by the stabilization and association process and the EFTA countries be invited to attend as prospective members.

The accession process which was launched in Brussels on 30 March 1998 and encompasses all ten Central and Eastern European countries, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey. It is an evolving and inclusive process in the sense that all these countries are destined to join the EU on the basis of the same criteria.


The principles of negotiations

The main principles behind the accession negotiations are fourfold. Firstly, they focus specifically on the terms under which candidates adopt, implement and enforce the acquis

Secondly, transitional arrangements may be possible, but these must be limited in the scope and duration and should not have a significant impact on competition or the functioning of the internal market. In addition they should be accompanied by a plan with clearly defined stages for the application of the acquis.

A third underlying principle in the negotiations is the concept of differentiation. The decision to enter into negotiations simultaneously with a group of countries does not imply that these negotiations will be concluded at the same time. The negotiations with the candidate countries are conducted individually; the pace of each negotiation depends on the degree of preparation by each candidate country and the complexity of the issues to be resolved.

Finally, there is the principle of catching up. In deciding to open negotiations also with a second group of countries, the Helsinki European Council in December 1999, stipulated that “candidate States which have now been brought into the negotiation process will have the possibility to catch up within a reasonable period of time with those already in negotiations if they have made sufficient progress in their preparations”. Each candidate is thus judged on its own merits.


The negotiation process

The actual negotiations take the form of a series of bilateral inter-governmental conferences between the EU Member States and each of the candidate countries. Following a detailed examination of the different chapters of the acquis (“screening”), such as free movement of goods, agriculture, environment, etc., negotiations are opened with the candidate countries, chapter by chapter. The Commission proposes common negotiating positions for the EU for each chapter. Negotiations positions are then approved unanimously by the Council. Negotiating sessions are held at the level of ministries or deputies, i.e. Permanent Representatives for the Member States, and Ambassadors or chief negotiators for the candidates. A chapter is considered “provisionally closed” with a candidate country when the EU notes that the chapter does not require further negotiation and the candidate concerned accepts the EU common position. The EU however may return to the chapter at a later stage during the negotiation process, in case new acquis would have been adopted with regard to the chapter concerned, or in case the candidate country concerned fails to implement the commitments it has taken on this chapter.






















II. THEORY OF ENLARGEMENT


After successfully growing from 6 to 15 members, the European Union is now preparing for its biggest enlargement ever in terms of scope and diversity. 13 countries have applied to become new members: 10 countries in central and eastern Europe - Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia – and Malta, Cyprus and Turkey.

These countries, with a wealth of different histories and cultures, have been preparing for membership for more than a decade. In order to join the Union, they need to fulfill the economic and political conditions known as the ‘Copenhagen criteria’, according to which a prospective member must:

  • be a stable democracy, respecting human rights, the rule of law, and the protection of minorities;
  • have a functioning market economy;
  • adopt the common rules, standards and policies that make up the body of EU law.

The EU assists these countries in taking on EU laws, and provides a range of financial assistance to improve their infrastructure and economy.

Negotiations for membership are under way with 12 of the applicant countries (not yet with Turkey, which does not yet meet the political conditions). On 9th October 2002, the Commission recommended to close negotiations with Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak

Republic and Slovenia.
The objective is that the first group of new members should join the EU in time for the elections to the European Parliament scheduled for June 2004.


Accession criteria

In 1993, at the Copenhagen European Council, the Member States took a decisive step towards the current enlargement, agreeing that 'the associated countries in central and eastern Europe that so desire shall become members of the European Union.' Thus, enlargement was no longer a question of 'if' but 'when'. Here too, the European Council provided a clear response:

”Accession will take place as soon as an applicant is able to assume the obligations of membership by satisfying the economic and political conditions required”.

At the same time, the Member States designed the membership criteria, which are often referred to as the Copenhagen Criteria.

As stated in Copenhagen, membership requires that the candidate country has achieved:

  • stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities;
  • the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union;
  • the ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.
  • the conditions for its integration through the adjustment of its administrative structures, so that European Community legislation transposed into national legislations implemented effectively through appropriate administrative and judicial structures.

The Luxembourg European Council (December 1997) also underlined that 'as a prerequisite for enlargement of the Union, the operation of the institutions must be strengthened and improved in keeping with the institutional provisions of the Amsterdam Treaty'.

Review procedure-Regular Reports

Following the publication of the Commission’s Opinions on the progress of the candidate countries in 1997, the Commission submits regular reports to the Council on further progress achieved by each country. The reports serve as a basis for the Council to take decisions on the conduct of negotiations or their extension to other candidates on the basis of the accession criteria (see page 10). The Commission submitted the first set of these Regular Reports, covering the ten associated countries in central Europe, Cyprus and Turkey, to the Council in November 1998.

On that basis, the analysis of progress made by candidate countries did not lead the Commission to modify its evaluation made in July 1997. Therefore, it did not feel it necessary to make new recommendations 'on the conduct or extension of the negotiations'. However, it did note

  • the particular progress made by Latvia and indicated that 'if the momentum of change is maintained, it should be possible to confirm next year that Latvia meets the Copenhagen economic criteria and, before the end of 1999, to propose the opening of negotiations.'
  • that considerable progress has also been made by Lithuania. However, 'additional measures are needed and some recent decisions need to be tested in practice before it can be considered to have met the Copenhagen criteria, which would allow the Commission to propose the opening of negotiations.'
  • that 'the new situation created in Slovakia following the elections also allows for the prospect of opening negotiations on condition that the regular, stable and democratic functioning of its institutions is confirmed. It will also be necessary, before opening negotiations, to verify that Slovakia has undertaken measures to correct the economic situation and has introduced greater transparency in its operation.'
  • that 'Bulgaria has made considerable progress in macroeconomic stabilisation and the reforms which are being implemented, also at an early stage, are helping to improve its international competitiveness.'
  • that 'Romania has not made further progress since the Opinion and its economic situation gives cause for concern. Sustained efforts are needed, with the support of the EU and the international community, to accelerate reforms and put Romania back on track.'

The Vienna European Council (December 1998) welcomed and generally endorsed the European Commission's Regular Reports. Following the reactivation by Malta of its application for membership in October 1998, the Commission adopted, on 17 February 1999, an update of its Opinion from 1993. The European Commission presented its next Regular Reports in October 1999, covering the ten associated countries in central Europe, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, to make them available for the Helsinki European Council, which took place in December 1999.

In line with the decisions of the Cologne European Council, the Commission adopted on 13 October its regular reports and a more general composite paper on the progress made by each of the candidate countries (ten central European countries, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey) towards accession (COM(1999) 500-513 19/10).

The regular reports contain a detailed analysis of the progress made by these 13 candidate countries since November 1998. They show that all countries except Turkey fulfil the political criteria for accession and that only Cyprus and Malta fully meet the economic criteria. Regarding the adoption of the acquis, the situation varies between countries : while good progress was made by Hungary, Latvia and Bulgaria the pace of transposition in Poland and the Czech Republic was slow.

Based on these regular reports, the Commission has recommended, in its composite paper, to open negotiations with Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia and also with Bulgaria and Romania but subject to certain conditions for the latter two. The Commission has also recommended to conduct accession negotiations through a differentiated approach taking account of the progress made by each candidate and to consider Turkey as a candidate country. It has furthermore suggested that the EU institutional reform be in force by 2002 to allow the accession of the first candidates that fulfil the criteria.

The Helsinki European Council on 10 December 1999 welcomed these regular reports and decided to follow the Commission recommendations.

The Nice Council (December 2000) reaffirmed the historic significance of the European Union enlargement process and the political priority which it attaches to the success of that process. It welcomed the stepping up of accession negotiations with the candidate countries, which has brought very considerable progress, particularly in recent months. 

Now, the EU says it will be 'in a position to welcome those new member states which are ready as from the end of 2002, in the hope that they will be able to take part in the next European Parliament elections' - which are scheduled for mid-2004. The next critical point in the process will be at the EU summit in Gothenburg, in June 2001, when EU leaders 'will assess progress in implementing that new strategy, in order to give the necessary guidance for the successful completion of the process'.

Meanwhile, the summit expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the candidates, and requested them 'to continue and speed up the necessary reforms to prepare themselves for accession, particularly as regards strengthening their administrative capacity, so as to be able to join the Union as soon as possible'. And it welcomed the establishment of economic and financial dialogue with the candidate countries.

In a bid to alleviate some of the most acute EU concerns over enlargement, EU leaders in Nice also called on the Commission 'to propose a program for the frontier regions in order to strengthen their economic competitiveness.'


Agenda 2000 and the European Commission’s Opinions

The Madrid European Council in December 1995 called on the European Commission to submit an assessment of the candidates' applications for membership as soon as possible after the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the reform of the EU's institutions, which was completed in June 1997 in Amsterdam, and to prepare a detailed analysis of what enlargement would mean for the EU. It also reaffirmed that the necessary decisions for launching accession negotiations would be taken within six months of the IGC's conclusion.

In July 1997, the Commission presented Agenda 2000, a single framework in which the Commission outlines the broad perspective for the development of the European Union and its policies beyond the turn of the century; addresses the challenge of enlargement. It draws the main conclusions and recommendations from the individual opinions on the applicant countries and gives the Commission’s views on the launching of the accession process and on reinforcement of the pre-accession strategy, the impact of enlargement on the EU as a whole; and the future financial framework beyond 2000, taking into account the prospect of an enlarged Union.

The Commission's Opinions evaluated the situation of each country in relation to the accession criteria. The Commission took into account information provided by the candidate countries themselves; assessments made by the member States; European Parliament reports and resolutions; the work of other international organizations and international financial institutions (IFIs); and progress made under the Europe Agreements. Finally, the Opinions were not only an assessment of the performance of each country up until 1997, but also a forward-looking analysis of expected progress. The Commission had already issued Opinions on Turkey in 1989 and Cyprus and Malta in 1993.

Having evaluated the extent to which the candidates already met the accession criteria, the European Commission recommended that accession negotiations start with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Cyprus.


The enlargement process

On the basis of the recommendations of the EC, the Luxembourg European Council (December 1997) decided to launch an overall enlargement process for all countries wishing to join the EU. It encompasses the European conference which brings together the countries aspiring to join the EU: the ten candidate countries from central Europe, Cyprus, Turkey and now Malta as well. The Conference is a multilateral forum for discussing issues of common interest, such as foreign and security policy, justice and home affairs, regional cooperation or economic matters.

This conference met for the first time in London on 12 March 1998. The second meeting took place in Luxembourg on 6 October 1998 and the third one in Brussels on 19 July 1999, at the level of foreign affairs ministers. On all occasions, Turkey declined the invitation the Accession process, which was launched in Brussels on 30 March 1998 for all the ten central European candidates and Cyprus. It is an evaluative and inclusive process in the sense that all these countries are destined to join the EU on the basis of the same criteria, regardless of whether or not they have already started negotiations. It includes an enhanced pre-accession strategy the accession negotiations a so-called 'screening' of EC legislation and a review procedure the accession negotiations process, which determines the conditions under which each candidate country will join the EU. The negotiations focus specifically on the terms under which candidates adopt, implement and enforce the acquis communautaire. In certain cases, the granting of transitional arrangements may be possible, but these must be limited in scope and duration.

Thirteen applicant countries are presently engaged in the process: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Malta, Cyprus, Turkey. Accession negotiations are under way with the first twelve, and the objective affirmed at the European Council in Gothenburg is to complete them by the end of 2002 with those countries that are ready to join, so that they can take part as members in the European Parliament’s elections of 2004.

III. CANDIDATE COUNTRIES FROM CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE AND THE ACQUIS

BULGARIA


Country profile


Area: Area110,993 sq. km                                                                       

Population: approximately 8 million citizens

Capital city: Sofia

Borders: To the north with Romania and the Danube river, to the east is the Black Sea, to the south are Turkey and Greece, and to the west - the FYR of Macedonia and Yugoslavia.  

Form of State:

Parliamentary republic                                                                             

The largest      part of the population is urban. 85% of Bulgarians are Christian Orthodox, whereas 13% of the population profess Islam. The Bulgarian ethnic group represents 85.8% of the population. Other major ethnic groups are the Turks (9.7%) and Roma (3.4%).

The Bulgarian landscape is highly diverse. The vast lowlands of the Danube plains dominate the North and in the south there are highlands and elevated plains. Along the Black Sea coast there are 130 km of excellent vast beaches.

Bulgaria has a moderate continental climate with average annual temperatures of 10.5°. There is a marked Mediterranean influence in the climate in the southern parts of the country.

Bulgaria is one of the most ancient states on the European continent. It was founded in 681. Its rich historic heritage, coupled with beautiful natural scenery is most conducive to the development of tourism. The country is famous for its Tracian Gold Treasure. It also boasts nine cultural monuments and natural reserves featuring on the UNESCO list, among which the Rila Monastery, the Boyana Church, the Madara Horseman, and the Pirin National Park.

Besides its Black Sea coast and beautiful mountains that attract tourists all the year round, Bulgaria is also famous for its Rose Valley. The rose oil produced here is a precious ingredient in Bulgarian and world perfume production.

Bulgaria’s main exports are light industry products, foods and wines, which are successfully competing on European markets.

Bulgaria is world famous for its folk music. A Bulgarian folk song was recorded on the Gold Record that was sent in outer space.


SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT


Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic. The Constitution is the supreme law of the country. The latest Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria was adopted in July of 1991 and features all basic principles of modern constitutionalism. It provides for a multi-party parliamentary system and free elections on the basis of universal suffrage. The three branches of power in Bulgaria are the legislative, the executive and the judicial.

The 240-seat National Assembly, or Parliament, is invested with the legislative power. The Members of Parliament are directly elected to a 4-year term on the basis of proportional representation. Parties and electoral coalitions need 4% of the popular vote to qualify.

The President serves as Head of State, and is directly elected once every 5 years for a maximum of two terms. The Vice President is elected on the same ballot as the President.

The President is also the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria and appoints and dismisses the senior command. He appoints the Prime-Minister designate to form a government, schedules the elections and sets the date for national referendums, and countersigns, together with the Prime Minister or the respective sector minister, decrees for the promulgation of the adopted laws.

The Council of Ministers (the Government) chaired by the Prime Minister is the principal body of the Executive Branch. The Prime-Minister-designate is nominated by the largest parliamentary group and is given a mandate by the President to form a cabinet. The National Assembly elects the proposed Council of Ministers. The activity of the Council of Ministers is under the direct control of the National Assembly.

The judiciary is an independent branch of power and is based on a three-instance procedure.

ECONOMY


Since the 1996-97 crisis, the country has achieved macro-economic stability and has a stable currency board, low basic interest rate, and substantial foreign-exchange reserves. Real economic growth significantly accelerated from 2.4 percent in 1999 to 5.8 percent in 2000, and this trend has been confirmed by the latest 2001 data (4.5 percent in the first quarter).

















CZECH REPLUBIC

Area: 78,866km2

Population: 10.3 million

Neighbours: (border in km) Germany (646), Poland (658), Slovakia (215), Austria (362)

Density: 131 inhabitants per km2

Distribution: 66% urban population, 34% rural population

Ethnic profile: Czech (94%), Slovak (3%), Polish (0.6%), German (0.5%), Roma (0.3%), Hungarian (0.2%), Others (1%)

Language: Czech

Religion: Atheist (39.8%), Roman Catholic (39.2%), Protestant (4.6%), Orthodox (3%), Other (13.4%)

Life expectancy Average: 74.1 - 70.8 years (male), 77.7 (female)

GDP/capita 12,498 ECU (PPS) in 1999 (PPS) (Eurostat)

59% of EU-15 average (1999)

Currency: 1 Crown or CZK = 100 halire - 1 crown = c.37 EURO (January 2001)

Trade with EU Surplus: 0.1 billion

Exports to the EU: 17.3 billion

Imports from the EU: 17.4 billion (1999 figures)

Trade balance: -1.89 million (1999)

Capital city: Prague (Praha)

This landlocked country is situated in the geographic centre of Europe and consists of three historical areas – Bohemia, Moravia and the Czech part of Silesia. The Czech Republic is called the roof of Europe since all the rivers which have their source in the area drain into neighbouring countries.

The territory of the Czech Republic was historically one of the most economically developed and industrialised part of Europe. As the only country in central Europe to remain a democracy until 1938, the then Czechoslovakia was among the ten most developed industrial states of the world before the second world war. Coal and lignite are in abundant supply. There are also deposits of mercury, antimony, tin, lead, zinc and iron ore, and a number of major European uranium deposits. Processing industries (machinery, steel, chemicals, glass, and agri-food) are the most highly developed. Cereals, sugar beet and hops are intensively cultivated, although agriculture plays a comparatively small role alongside the traditional engineering and other industries.

The attractiveness of the Czech Republic and especially of its capital city, Prague, lies in a remarkable historical and architectural heritage stretching back over 1.000 years, and brings over 10 million visitors a year to the Czech Republic. Throughout the centuries Prague preserved its unrivalled richness of historical monuments of different styles. Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau and cubism form a unique aesthetic unit. Castles and chateaux built in the past centuries still dominate the Czech landscape. Many monuments of folk architecture, picturesque villages and living traditions of folk music and local folk costumes are typical for the Moravian region.

Czech beverages such as Czech beer or mineral water from more than 900 natural springs (a world record) are extremely popular.


POLITICAL SITUATION

Official name: Czech Republic (came into being on 1/1/1993)

Constitution Parliamentary Republic; Constitution entered into force on 1 January, 1993

Electoral system Universal direct suffrage for party proportional representation, subject to 5% threshold

After World War II, the political system in Czechoslovakia was greatly affected by the introduction of a Soviet-style Communist regime, as it was in the other countries of central and eastern Europe. The system of power was distorted. In effect this imbalance meant that the three branches of power necessary for democratic development - executive, legislative and judicial - were substituted by a unified Communist power. Its power was based on the constitution and for forty years it ruled all layers of social and political life throughout the country with the help of oppressive institutions. After February 1948, the Communist Party became the only autonomous political entity. It allowed a few other parties to exist within the so-called National Front; however, these parties held no real power and were created to provide an outward image of Czechoslovakia as a democratic state.

After the revolutionary events of November 1989 which brought about the downfall of the Communist regime, the entire country faced the uneasy task of resuming its pre-Communist traditions and building a democratic political system. A wide diversity of political parties were well-established even before the break-up of Czechoslovakia on December 31, 1992. The constitution of the Czech Republic, which became valid on the day of the birth of the new state, explicitly defined civil rights, the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of power, and the independence of the judiciary.


CURRENT GOVERNMENT (As of 15 July 2002)

President Vaclav Havel Head of State

Dr. Vladimír Spidla Prime Minister

Stanislav Gross Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior

Dr. Cyril Svoboda Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

Dr. Pavel Rychetský Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice

Petr Mareš Deputy Prime Minister

Bohuslav Sobotka Minister of Finance

Jaroslav Tvrdík Minister of Defence

Jirí Rusnok Minister of Industry and Trade

Zdenek Skromach Minister of Labour and Social Affairs

Milan Simonovský Minister of Transport and Communications

Jaroslav Palas Minister of Agriculture

Dr. Marie Soucková Minister of Health

Dr. Petra Buzková Minister of Education, Youth and Sports

Pavel Dostál Minister of Culture

Dr. Libor Ambrozek Minister of Environment

Pavel Nemec Minister for Regional Development

Vladimír Mlynár Minister for Information Technologies

Pavel Telicka State Secretary for European Affairs Chief negotiator/EU




CYPRUS


Area: 9,251 km? - about 37% of the Republic's territory remains under Turkish control. 1.8% forms part of the buffer zone along the cease-fire line, 5% is covered by two UK sovereign base areas.   

Population: According to the Cypriot government the total population living in territories under its control is 640,000 (1998), and 88,000 Turkish Cypriots live in the north (Source: Department of Statistics and Research). According to Turkish Cypriot sources (as reported in Cyprus Diary 2000) the population in the north is estimated at around 200,000, of which 107,000 are Turkish Cypriots and the remaining are Turks originating from mainland Turkey (30,000 Turkish military stationed in the island not included).

Distribution: 69% urban population, 31% rural population

Capital city: Nicosia, population 195,300 Other cities: Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Kyrenia , Famagusta and Morphou

Official Languages: Greek and Turkish      

Religion: Greek Orthodox, Moslem, Armenian, Roman Catholic, Maronite.

Currency: November 2001: Cyprus Pounds = 100 cents = 1.74 Euro

GDP/capita 1999: EUR 13,000 at current prices source EUROSTAT not including the northern part                                         

THE CYPRUS QUESTION – HISTORY

7000 B.C. first settlers came to the island. During the Copper Stone Age (3700 – 2500 B.C.) copper was worked for the first time in Cyprus. In the Middle Bronze Age (1900 – 1650 B.C.) trade developed and Cypriot seafarers ranged as far as Egypt, Syria and Babylon as well as Crete and Sicily. Cyprus became a major exporter of copper giving thus the name to the island. During the late Bronze Age (1600 – 1050 B.C.) economic and cultural growth coincided with the Minoan Crete culture which became the basic root of European civilisation. In the beginning of the Iron Age (1050 – 600 B.C.) developments in Greece and Cyprus were parallel although Cyprus had retained close cultural and commercial ties with the Orient, a fact which distinguishes it from most of the other areas characterised by a common Greek culture. Cyprus was not only governed by Greeks and Phoenicians during the coming period but also by others like the Assyrians, the Egyptians and the Persians so that it became a multi-ethnic culture. During the Hellenistic period (325 B.D. – 50 B.D.) and the Roman period (50 – 395 A.D.) Cyprus belonged to whichever empire was in power in the Mediterranean. With the Byzantine era (from 395 on) the entire island had been christianised. The rise of the Arab Umayad Dynasty made Cyprus a base for their fleets for their attacks against Byzantnians but it never had Cyprus really under control. At the time of the Crusades Cyprus got only involved by chance when Richard the Lionheart freed his future wife from the self-appointed 'Emperor of Cyprus' Isaak Komemnos in 1191. Richard sold the island to the Templars but in the end the head of a French noble family, Guy de Lusignan, became the new owner of Cyprus. He invited nobles who had lost their homes in Palestine to the Muslims to settle in Cyprus.

After the fall of Akko Cyprus remained the head of trade in the eastern Mediterranean, and became particularly important for the Italian city states of Venice and Genoa. Under the Lusignan dynasty which lasted for about 3 centuries the island became one of the world’s richest countries. Palaces and gothic chambers sprung up in the country. Nevertheless most native Cypriots were nothing but bondsmen, the Greek Orthodox Church was suppressed. In 1373 the Genoese conquered and plundered Famagusta. Cyprus was forced to pay tribute to them. Behind that was the power struggle between Venice and Genoa for control over the lucrative trade links in the eastern Mediterranean. In 1426 the Muslim Mameluks took Nicosia and other cities. From then on Cyprus had to pay tribute to Egypt as well. Under pressure the last ruler of Cyprus, Catarina Cornaro, ceded Cyprus to the Republic of Venice in 1489. With the expansion of the Ottoman Empire one after the other Venetian possessions in the Mediterranean fell to the Sultan. In 1570 at the height of the power of the Ottomans Sultan Selim II conquered Cyprus. Many inhabitants welcomed the new rulers who reduced harsh Venetian taxes and abolished the feudal system; bondsmen became free peasants on their own land, which they were permitted to buy at advantageous terms and the Greek Orthodox Church got restored their rights and privileges with the Millet system. From 1660 the archbishop was, with the dragoman, also a Christian, the official representative of the Greek Orthodox Christians. The Ottomans brought about 20,000 Muslim colonists on the island. Cities and villages populated by Christians and Muslims came into being. The Catholic churches and cathedrals were turned into mosques for the new immigrants and soldiers. The property of the Greek Orthodox Church was not touched. Cut off from the European trade routes, the once flourishing island sank into insignificance and economic stagnation, and the exploitation of the island’s inhabitants increased again with heavy tax burdens. Christians had to pay higher taxes which caused entire village communities to convert to Islam. Others found a compromise in practising Islam in public and were registered as Muslims, but in practice they remained Christians. They were called 'linopamaki' (made up of the words for 'linen and cotton') which expressed their dual status on into the early 20th century when nationalism rendered it impossible. In 1815 a European diplomat reported that Cyprus was formally governed by a bey but in reality by the archbishop. Reports exist of Christians and Muslims uniting to rise up in arms against the almighty troika consisting of the archbishop, the dragoman and the bey. The reign of the clergy as a 'state within the state' did come to a violent end in 1821. The government at the time seized the beginning of the Greek struggle against the Ottomans as a welcome opportunity to get rid of his rival Archbishop together with other people. With the decline of the Ottoman empire the Great Powers of Europe became concerned about the situation of the Sublime Port and the drive of the Russians to the Mediterranean. Britain saw her trade routes (India) threatened. In 1878 London concluded a military treaty with Turkey – called Convention of Defensive Alliance. It was designed to stop Russian expansion. It assigned the island of Cyprus to be occupied and administered by Great Britain and ended 300 years of Ottoman rule. Cyprus became again strategically important now as a permanent base for the British fleet. It secured the sea route to India via the Suez Canal, which had been opened in 1869. But in 1882 Britain got Alexandria in Egypt, which was in a better strategic position. This reduced British ambitions to invest more in Cyprus. Although the Cypriots had welcomed the change in the hope of avoiding the burden of Ottoman taxes they now had to finance the interest on the lease that had been negotiated between London and Istanbul with their taxes. The British introduced their colonial administration in the usual form of a 'legislative council' where the inhabitants of the island were represented. 9 Greek and 3 Turkish Cypriots were represented together with 6 British who had a veto together with the Turkish Cypriots. In 1914 Great Britain annexed the island after Turkey entered the war on Germany’s side. In 1925 Cyprus was declared a British Crown Colony. Taxation and the British refusal to consider 'enosis' - union with Greece - led to a rebellion of Greek Cypriots in 1931. The house of the British governor went up in flames. As a result the instigators were deported and all political parties banned.

NEWER HISTORY

After the Second World War where 25,000 Cypriots fought on the Allied side, 'enosis' arose again amongst Greek Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriots who made up for about 18% of the population preferred partition if the British left. In 1955 the 'National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA)' started fighting for independence. In 1960 Cyprus became an independent state. The agreements provided for a division of power along communal lines. This played into the hands of nationalism. Politicians, lacking experience of democratic culture, made little efforts to establish consensus. The outcome was a political crisis, which spilled over into fighting on the streets in 1963. Finally the Turkish Cypriots withdrew from the common institutions in 1964. The United Nations sent for the first time forces – UNFICYP – to the island which are still there. In 1967 a military junta took over power in Athens. Its leaders discussed with Turkey proposals to get rid of president Makarios by dividing the island but the junta did not agree on the Turkish demand for two military bases and 10 % of the island territory. As a consequence President Makarios relied even more heavily on the leftist party, Akel, at home and the Soviet Union, internationally. The junta finally staged a coup in 1974 but Makarios escaped. Turkish troops landed in Cyprus. The Greek junta collapsed. Talks started in Geneva. In a second military operation Turkey seized one third of the island, leaving 200,000 refugees unable to return to their homes. The Greek coup and the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus created international outrage. Since then various efforts of the UN to come to a peace agreement failed. The country became divided. Nicosia, the capital, still has a wall like Berlin once had.

INSTITUTIONS

The Republic of Cyprus is an independent sovereign republic with a presidential system of government. The 1960 Constitution has been retained although all provisions relating to the participation of the Turkish community in the exercise of executive, legislative and judicial powers are no longer applied. Under the Constitution, the President of the Republic, elected for 5 years by direct universal suffrage, exercises the executive power through a Council of Ministers which he appoints. The current President is Mr Glafcos Clerides. The next presidential elections will be held in February 2003. The Legislative power is exercised by the House of Representatives. Since the withdrawal of the Turkish Cypriots from the Republic’s institutions (1963), the House of Representatives has functioned only with Greek Cypriots parliamentarians. They are elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term. The last elections were held on 27 May 2001. There is a special Committee for EU and External Affairs in order to assist the harmonisation process. This Committee consisting of 19 members, examines all legislative instruments that are required for the approximation of the national legislation to the acquis, with the possibility of a fast-track. The administration of justice is exercised by an independent judiciary. The main judicial institutions are the following: The Supreme Court of the Republic, The Assize Court (Permanent Assize Court for all Districts), District Courts, Military Court, Industrial Disputes Court, Rent Control Courts, Family Courts. The Attorney-General of the Republic is appointed by the President of the Republic. He is the Head of the Law Office of the Republic which is an independent office and a key element in the harmonisation process. The Attorney-General is the legal adviser of the President and of the Council of Ministers.




EU - CYPRUS RELATIONS

The EU and Cyprus signed an Association Agreement in December 1972 that was complemented by a Protocol concluded in 1987. It constitutes the legal framework for current EU-Cyprus relations. The EU is Cyprus’ largest trading partner (51% and 57% of respectively Cyprus exports and imports in the year 2000). A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), consisting of members of the EP and of the Chamber of Representatives of Cyprus, was set up in 1991. It meets twice a year. Cyprus also benefits from regional and horizontal measures under the MEDA Programme. The office of the Delegation of the European Commission was opened in Nicosia in May 1990. The Republic of Cyprus applied for membership in July 1990. In 1993 the Commission concluded that the application was made in the name of the whole island. In the expectation of significant progress in the UN talks for a settlement the Commission considered Cyprus as eligible for membership. On 6 March 1995, the General Affairs Council Conclusion confirmed Cyprus’s suitability for membership and established that accession negotiations with Cyprus would start 6 months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC). A structured dialogue was initiated in order to reveal areas where Cyprus had to make efforts to adapt to the EU’s legal system and policies. The European Council in Luxembourg (1997) confirmed that accession negotiations would begin in spring 1998. Turkish Cypriots were invited to be included in the Cypriot delegation. The accession negotiations started on March 30th 1998. Substantial negotiations for the adoption and the implementation of the EU legislation began in November 1998. A reference to Turkish Cypriot community is included in every position paper. As far as July 2001, all 31 chapters of the acquis have been opened for negotiations and 23 of them have been provisionally closed.

According to the road map of the Commission endorsed by the Council the negotiations should be finished during 2002. Cyprus is expected to be part of the first wave of acceding countries. The Helsinki European Council in December 1999 it was stated: 'The European Council underlines that a political settlement will facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union. If no settlement has been reached by the completion of accession negotiations, the Council’s decision on accession will be made without the above being a precondition. In this the Council will take account of all relevant factors'.

FINANCIAL CO-OPERATION

In the past, four financial protocols on financial co-operation were signed between the EU and the Republic of Cyprus, covering a period of 22 years (1978 till 1999). During this time, € 210 Million were made available under the form of loans (152 M€), grants (51 M€), and risk capital (7 M€). The main target sectors were Small and Medium Enterprises, Environment, Energy and Transport. Since 2000, pre-accession aid is available to Cyprus for an amount of 57 M€ to be programmed over 5 years (2000-2004). The new Financial Regulation on the 'implementation of the pre-accession strategy' for Cyprus (and Malta) will ensure, like for all Candidate Countries of Central and Eastern Europe, that assistance is targeted towards pre-accession investment priorities, institution-building priorities and support in economic and social cohesion. Additionally, the regulation foresees to support 'any operations to contribute to the reconciliation of the two Cypriot communities.' For all harmonisation operations, co-financing is being sought being it national (compulsory), or with other donors (Member States, International Financing Institutions). In 2000, the € 9 million available for Cyprus were broken down for harmonisation projects (5 M€), for bi-communal projects (3 M€), for co-financing Cyprus participation in 3 Education and Training Community Programmes (1 M€). In the year 2001, the EU is expected to provide € 11.5 million to support projects for institution building, adoption of the acquis, and bi-communal activities, and to help meet the costs of Cyprus' participation in EC programmes and Agencies. Cyprus also participates in, and benefits from, MEDA funded multi-country and horizontal programmes, and from the TAIEX instrument. The year 2001 is also going to be the year of decentralisation of EU assistance to Cyprus, along the lines applied to central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). Furthermore, an additional step is in the process of being tested, allowing Cyprus to assume a larger responsibility over the implementation of EU pre-accession assistance, in line with the orientations of the future Structural Funds.

ECONOMY

Cyprus has a record of successful economic performance and is classified by the World Bank as a high-income country. In the labour market, unemployment has remained low (3.4%) even among ‘vulnerable groups’ (the young, higher education graduates, women and older people). Cypriot economy’s success is attributed to the adoption of a market orientated economic system, the pursuance of macro-economic policies by the government as well as the existence of a dynamic and flexible entrepreneurship and a highly educated labour force. Moreover, the economy benefited from the close co-operation between the public sector and the social partners. During the last decade Cyprus has intensified its economic links to Europe. The Cypriot economy is basically service-oriented with more than 65% of its population employed in that sector, particularly tourism. Although industry and agriculture still employ close to 30% of the population, their contribution to the GDP is lower (21% for industry, 4% for agriculture) and declining every year. The importance of the services in the economy has allowed the Cypriot economy to benefit from productivity gains and show an impressive growth during the last years.

INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION MEMBERSHIP

Among other international organisations, Cyprus is member of UN (1960), Council of Europe, OSCE, Commonwealth of Nations, IMF, WTO, ILO, IMO, and Interpol. THE CYPRUS QUESTION IN THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL SUMMITS Dublin 26-06-1990 The European Council discussed the Cyprus question in the light of the impasse in the inter-communal dialogue. The European Council, deeply concerned at the situation, fully reaffirms its previous declarations and its support for the unity, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions. Reiterating that the Cyprus problem affects EC-Turkey relations, and bearing in mind the importance of these relations, it stresses the need for the prompt elimination of the obstacles that are preventing the pursuit of effective inter-communal talks aimed at finding a just and viable solution to the question of Cyprus on the basis of the mission of good offices of the UN Secretary General, as it was reaffirmed by Resolution 649 of the Security Council. Luxembourg 10-04-1993 - Commission's opinion The Council supported the Commission's approach, which was to propose, without awaiting a peaceful, balanced and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem, to use all the instruments offered by the Association Agreement to help, in close co-operation with the Cypriot Government, with the economic, social and political transition of Cyprus towards integration into the European Union. To that end the Council invited the Commission to open substantive discussions forthwith with the Government of Cyprus to help it to prepare for the accession negotiations which would then follow under the best possible conditions, and to keep the Council regularly informed of the progress made. The Council also confirmed the Community's support for the efforts made by the United Nations Secretary General to produce a political settlement of the Cyprus question. If, in spite of these efforts, there was no prospect of a solution in the foreseeable future, the Council agreed to reassess the situation in the light of the positions expressed by each side in the inter-community discussions and to examine in January 1995 the question of the accession of Cyprus to the European Union in the light of this situation. Corfu 24-06-1994 The European Council notes that in these conditions the next phase of enlargement of the Union will involve Cyprus and Malta. The European Council, recalling relevant decisions of the Council of 4 October 1993, 18 April 1994 and 13 June 1994, reaffirms that any solution of the Cyprus problem must respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the country, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions and high-level agreements. Essen 19-12-1994 The European Council confirms that the next phase of enlargement of the Union will involve Cyprus and Malta and invites the Council to examine in early 1995 new reports to be presented by the Commission. General Affairs Council conclusions 6-03-1995 The Council of Ministers, after re-examining Cyprus' application in line with its earlier decisions and the conclusions of the Corfu and Essen European Councils and after examining the report from the EU observer for Cyprus: reaffirms the suitability of Cyprus for accession to the European Union and confirms the European Union's will to incorporate Cyprus in the next stage of its enlargement, regrets the lack of progress in the inter-communal talks taking place under the auspices of the UN Secretary General and calls upon all parties to step up their efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, based on the concept of a bi-communal and bi-zonal Federation, considers that the developments noted in the last few months have enabled elements which could be useful for defining an agreement to be identified, considers that Cyprus' accession to the EU should bring increased security and prosperity to both communities on the island. In particular it should allow the North to catch up economically and should improve the outlook for growth and employment, particularly for the Turkish-Cypriot community. The Council considers that this community must perceive the advantages of EU accession more clearly and its concern at the prospect must be allayed. The Council calls upon the Commission to organise the requisite contacts to this end with the Turkish-Cypriot community, in consultation with the Government of Cyprus. Under these circumstances, the Council considers that Cyprus' accession should benefit all communities and help to bring about civil peace and reconciliation; accession negotiations will start on the basis of Commission proposals six months after the conclusion of the 1996 Conference, taking account of the results of the Conference. It calls upon the Commission to continue its work of familiarising the Cyprus administration with the acquis communautaire, which it began a year before in time for the next meeting of the Association Council with Cyprus, it intends to adopt concrete proposals for a specific strategy in preparation for accession, including a structured dialogue, the precise details of which will be established in accordance with the Annex hereto. It confirms that the EU intends to continue to support with all means at its disposal the United Nations' efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question. Madrid 16-12-1995 The European Council reiterates the importance which it attaches to making substantial efforts to achieve a just and viable solution to the question of Cyprus in line with the United Nations Security Council resolutions, on the basis of a bi-zonal and bi-community federation. Dublin 16-12-1996 The European Council urges Turkey to use its influence to contribute to a solution in Cyprus in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. Luxembourg 12-12-1997 The accession of Cyprus should benefit all communities and help to bring about civil peace and reconciliation. The accession negotiations will contribute positively to the search for a political solution to the Cyprus problem through the talks under the aegis of the United Nations which must continue with a view to creating a bi-community, bi-zonal federation. In this context, the European Council requests that the willingness of the Government of Cyprus to include representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community in the accession negotiating delegation be acted upon. In order for this request to be acted upon, the necessary contacts will be undertaken by the Presidency and the Commission.The European Council recalls that strengthening Turkey's links with the European Union also depends on that country's pursuit of the political and economic reforms on which it has embarked, including the alignment of human rights standards and practices on those in force in the European Union; respect for and protection of minorities; the establishment of satisfactory and stable relations between Greece and Turkey; the settlement of disputes, in particular by legal process, including the International Court of Justice; and support for negotiations under the aegis of the UN on a political settlement in Cyprus on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. Vienna 11-12-1998 The European Council confirms its support for the efforts of the UN Secretary-General towards a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus and in particular for the process being developed by his Deputy Special Representative with the goal of reducing tensions and promoting progress towards a just and lasting settlement based on the relevant UNSC decisions. Helsinki 11-12-99 The European Council welcomes the launch of the talks aiming at a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on 3 December in New York and expresses its strong support for the UN Secretary-General’s efforts to bring the process to a successful conclusion.The European Council underlines that a political settlement will facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union. If no settlement has been reached by the completion of accession negotiations, the Council’s decision on accession will be made without the above being a precondition. In this the Council will take account of all relevant factors. Nice 8-12-2000 The European Council welcomed and strongly supports the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General to achieve an overall agreement on the Cyprus problem consistent with the UN Security Council Resolutions and to arrive at a positive conclusion of the process initiated in December 1999. It appeals to all the parties concerned to contribute to the efforts made to this effect.



ESTONIA





Map of Estonia - December 2001

Area: 

45,227 square km

Population:

1,370,100 (2000 population census). 80% citizens of Estonia, 7% citizens of other countries and 13% stateless

Capital city:

Tallinn (population 408,329 or 28% of total population)

Currency:

kroon (EEK). Fixed exchange rate: 1 euro = 15.65 EEK

Tax system:

26% flat income tax, 18% VAT. Reinvested corporate profit is tax free

Life expectancy:

Average: 65.4 years (male), 76.1 (female)

Official language: 

Estonian

Religion:

Leading role: Lutheran. Others: Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Baptist, Methodist and Roman Catholic

Head of State: 

President, elected for 5 years. Current President: Mr. Arnold Rüütel (since September 2001

Constitution:

The Constitution of Estonia came info force in 1992

Parliament: 

The Riigikogu. A unicameral parliament of 101 members. 
Term: 4 years. The last elections were held in March 1999

Electoral system

Suffrage universal for citizens who have attained 18 years of age for national elections. All legal residents (for 5 years), regardless of citizenship, who have attained 18 years of age can vote in local elections

Administrative division: 

15 counties, 205 rural municipalities and 42 towns (currently under review)

Judicial system:

Three-instance court system, 22 courts of first instance (3 city courts, 15 county courts and 4 administrative courts)

GDP/capita:

€8,500 (PPS) in 2000

Unemployment rate:

12.0% (3rd quarter 2001)

Inflation rate:

4.2% in 2001

National budget:

2001 budget: 29.8 billion kroons (1.9 billion EUR)

Government deficit:

-0.7% of GDP (2000)

Government debt:

5.3% of GDP (2000)

Trade with EU in 2000:

Exports to the EU: 77% of the total: 2.6 billion EUR
Imports from the EU: 85% of the total: 2.9 billion EUR

GEOGRAPHY

Estonia lies along the Baltic Sea, just south of Finland and has a climate of icy, snowy winters and long light summers. It is a country about the same size as the Netherlands, and is sparsely populated with around 1.4m people. Tallinn, Estonia’s capital city, is about 80 km or 50 miles south of Helsinki, across the Gulf of Finland. Sweden is Estonia's western neighbour across the Baltic. Russia lies to the east, Latvia to the south.

The country is mostly flat, with many lakes and islands although in the south there are rolling hills and skiing is possible in towns like Otepää. In the east of Estonia, lake Peipus, the 4th largest lake in Europe, forms a natural frontier with Russia. On the Western Coast, the islands and islets have been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and are a mecca for Estonians and tourists alike during the summer. Across Estonia, much of the land is farmed or forested, with industrial production concentrated around Tallinn and in the Northeast.

Tallinn is an important port and one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe. It is a city of grey towers topped with red tiles, of stone stairs beneath arching gateways, of narrow winding streets, cobbled pavement and towering ramparts. Outside the capital, other notable towns include Tartu, an ancient university town in the south-east, Narva with its imposing fortress on the border with Russia in the north and Pärnu with its attractive beach in the south-west.

POLITICAL SITUATION

The independent Republic of Estonia was born in the aftermath of the First World War in 1918. It was subsequently occupied by the Soviet Union (1940-41, 1944-1991) and Nazi Germany (1941-1944).

A resurgence of Estonian national identity began in the late 1980s. The most visible (but peaceful) protests occurred in 1988 when large numbers of Estonians came together to sing national songs in the so-called 'singing revolution' and in 1989 when people across all three Baltic countries joined hands together to form a massive human chain.

In 1991, Estonia declared the restoration of its independence which was quickly recognised by other countries. Since then, Estonian Governments have pursued a liberal free-trade policy and have embraced new technologies which has resulted in a rapid transformation to a market economy. In November 2001, Mr Arnold Rűűtel replaced Mr Lennart Meri as only the second President that Estonia has had since independence.

ECONOMY

In Estonia, the transition from a planned economy to a market economy started at the beginning of the 1990s. Reforms carried out after monetary reform in 1992 were comprehensive and systematic.

In June 1992, the Estonian national currency was taken into use and became the legal currency of Estonia. Monetary stability was one of the most important preconditions for carrying out reforms in other areas. Most prices were liberalised by 1992, the government only maintains control over the price of energy, certain services and rents.

In order to restructure the business sector, an appropriate legal framework was established and privatisation process launched. Estonia’s success in attracting foreign investment has been a continuous feature of the transition process.

As a result of the transition to a new economic system, Estonia’s gross domestic product (GDP) decreased sharply in the years 1991-1994. By 1995, the recession phase was over. Economic growth was fastest in 1997. Due to a crisis in the financial sector, foreign demand began to decline in 1998. The same year saw a crisis in the Russian market, and as a result, Estonia’s GDP decreased by 1.1% in 1999.

In 2000, the growth rate of Estonia’s economy increased rapidly to 6%, driven by economic integration with EU member states. This high rate of growth has continued in 2001. Important exports are machinery and electrical equipment, wood and textiles products. Tourism and transit trade also make important contributions to the economy. Finland and Sweden are amongst Estonia’s biggest partners in business, investment and tourism.

ESTONIA AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

In August 1991 the European Community recognised the Republic of Estonia after it had regained its independence. The following year European Commission accredited the Estonian Ambassador in Brussels.

Relationships between the Republic of Estonia and the European Communities are regulated by the following agreements:

Europe Agreement, i.e. the association agreement between the European Communities and its member states and the Republic of Estonia, which was concluded on 12 June 1995 and entered into force on 1 February 1998.

Free trade agreement is incorporated into the Europe Agreement (concluded on 18 July 1994, entered into force on 1 January 1995).

Estonia submitted its application to accede to the EU in November 1995 and started negotiations in March 1998. By the end of 2001 out of 29 negotiating chapters opened between the EU and Estonia the following 20 chapters had been provisionally closed: free movements of goods, free movement of services, free movement of capital, company law, competition, fisheries, Economic and Monetary Union, statistics, social policy, industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, science and research, education and training, telecommunications and information technologies, culture and audio-visual, environment, consumers and health protection, external relations common foreign and security policy and financial control. More information on those chapter negotiations can be found here.

CULTURE AND PEOPLE

The ancestors of today’s Estonians – a reserved people speaking Estonian, a Finno-Ugric tongue related to Finnish and, distantly, to Hungarian – have lived on the Eastern shores of the Baltic Sea for thousands of years.

Throughout the centuries an integral part of Estonian life has been the sauna. Saunas in Estonia are a national institution. One theory is that the sauna evolved as a sun substitute, giving Estonians the psychological benefits of intense heat during the long, dark months of the year.

A more recent development is the Estonians love of information technology. Estonia is the leading country for Internet connections per capita among the associate members of the European Union. It even ranks ahead of EU Member States such as Belgium or France. The country code is .ee.

Well known Estonians include Carmen Kaas, the supermodel, Erkki Nool, the Olympic decathlon gold medalist and Tanel Padar, the winner of the 2001 Eurovision song contest that will be held in Estonia during 2002.




HUNGARY


1. BASIC DATA

Population

10 million

Area

93,036 km˛

Density

107.8 inhabitants per km˛

Distribution

63.7% urban population, 36.3% rural population

Neighbours

Austria (356 km border), Slovakia (679), Ukraine (137), Romania (453), Fr Yugoslavia (164), Croatia (355), Slovenia (102)

Ethnic profile

Hungarian (96.6%) – 13 officially recognised and registered minorities: German, Gypsies, Croats, Slovaks, Romanians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Polish, Armenian, Ruthens, Serbs, Ukrainian – especially protected by Constitution as a component of the Hungarian state; right of representation in Parliament enshrined in the Constitution and the 1993 Minority Act

Language

Hungarian

Religion

Roman Catholic (65%), Reformed (20%), Lutherans (4%), Orthodox (2.7%), Jewish (1%)

Life expectancy

Average: 71.35 years, 67.1 years (male), 75.6 years (female).

GDP

In Purchasing Power Standard in 2001: 11,900 Euro
(app. 52% of EU average)
Real GDP growth in 2001: 3.8%

Inflation rate in
Jan-September 2002

4.9 % nine months average year-on-year

Unemployment rate

July-September 2002: 5.9% (ILO definition)

Currency

1 Forint or HUF = 100 Fillér
1 Euro = HUF 244.7 (rate October 2002)

General gov. budget balance

2001 Budget Deficit: 3.3% of GDP

Current account balance

End of 2001: -1.248 million Euro = 2.2% of GDP

Foreign debt

65.3% of GDP in 2001

Trade with EU in 2001

Exports to the EU: 75 as % of the total
Imports from the EU: 58 as % of the total

COUNTRY NAME

Conventional long form: Republic of Hungary/ Magyar Köztársaság
Conventional short form:
Hungary/ Magyarország

LOCATION, TOPOGRAPHY, CLIMATE, NATURAL RESOURCES

Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe, bounded on the north by Slovakia; on the north-east by Ukraine; on the east by Romania; on the south by Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia; and on the west by Austria. Its maximum extent from west to east is 528 kilometres; from north to south this figure is 319 kilometres. Hungary is predominantly flat. The Danube River forms part of Hungary's north-western border with Slovakia, and then flows south through Budapest, dividing Hungary into two general regions. A low, rolling plain known as the Great Hungarian Plain, covers most of the region east of the Danube extending east to Romania and south to Serbia. Highlands along the northern border of the country extend eastward from the gorge of the Danube at Esztergom and include the Matra Mountains, a part of the Carpathian Mountain system. Mount Kékes (1015 m/3330 ft), in the Mátra Mountains, is the highest peak in Hungary. The area west of the Danube, known as Transdanubia, presents a variety of landforms. In the south rise the isolated Mecsek Mountains. In the north are the Bakony Mountains, a forested range in the Transdanubian Highlands, which overlook Lake Balaton, the biggest sweet-water lake in Europe. The Little Alföld (Kisalföld), or Little Plain, in the extreme northwestern section of Hungary, extends into southern Slovakia.

The Danube is Hungary's most important river and transport route, offering easy access to central and south-east Europe. Since the inauguration of the canal linking the Danube to the Main in 1992, goods can be carried from the Black sea to the North Sea. Other major rivers, all tributaries of the Danube, include the Tisza, the longest river in Hungary. In October 2001, the last Danube bridge that was destroyed in World War II was reopened by both the Slovak and the Hungarian Prime Minister and European Commissioner Verheugen. The reconstruction of the bridge was co-financed by the EU Phare programme with € 10 million.

PRINCIPAL CITIES

Budapest, the largest city, is the capital and also the cultural, economic and industrial centre of Hungary. Approximately 1.8 million people – 18 percent of the country’s total population – live in Budapest. The capital is located along the two embankments of the Danube. The Buda side of the city reaches up to the hills, while the Pest side was built on the flood plain of the Danube. The 235-meter high Gellért Hill rises on the Buda side of Budapest, nearly in the centre of the town, offering a fine view to the capital. Seven public and two rail bridges span the Danube in its Budapest stretch. Among the many spectacular sights of the capital there is the Royal Castle and the Castle District. The extremely rich collection of the Hungarian National Gallery and the country’s biggest library, the National Széchenyi Library is in the Castle too. On the Pest side rises the neo-Gothic building of Parliament. The numerous thermal and curative springs deservedly elevate the capital to the rank of ‘city of spas’.

Other major cities include Debrecen (204,000), the trade centre of a major agricultural region; Miskolc (172,000), the location of iron-and-steel and other metallurgical industries; Szeged (158,000), a shipping centre for the agricultural products of the Great Hungarian Plain, also noted for its chemical and synthetic-textile industries; Pécs (157,000), home of the oldest university of the country and of small manufacturing industries; Györ (127,000), a traditional cultural centre of the Northern Trans-Danubian region with up-to-date motor vehicle and tool-making industry.

CULTURE

Hungary was the homeland of Franz Liszt, Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály, whose music was inspired by the rich national folk traditions. In the 19th century Hungary produced its first important native-born composer, Ferenc Erkel, who composed the Hungarian national anthem and the first Hungarian opera. Hungary is a highly musical country; its violinists and pianists are particularly celebrated virtuosi world-wide. Hungary has more than 5,000 public libraries, and more than 100 public museums are maintained throughout the country.

In 2001 Hungary continued to strengthen the structures necessary to participate in Community structures. The decision of the Association Council on the participation of Hungary in the 'Culture 2000' programme was adopted by the Government and entered into force in July 2001.

2. POLITICAL SITUATION

Official name

Republic of Hungary - Magyar Köztársaság

Constitution

Constitution of 1949 still valid, but has been fundamentally revised since 1989.

Electoral system

Universal direct suffrage over age 18

Head of State

President Ferenc Mádl (since August 2000)

Prime Minister

Dr Péter Medgyessy (since 27 May 2002)

Foreign Minister

László Kovacs (since 27 May 2002)

European Integration

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in charge of overall co-ordination in EU matters
Dr Péter Balázs is Head of the State Secretariat for European Integration and Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Chief negotiator/EU

Endre Juhász, Ambassador to EU

Current government

Left-liberal coalition of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP) and the Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz)

Three-level administration


Since 1 January 1999:

3,131 Település (settlements): municipalities, basic level of self-government, responsible for all matters that have not been assigned to other levels

19 megyék and Budapest (counties): regional policy, with extensive powers in economic policy

7 régió (regions) have been created


Health, Social, Family Affairs

Mr. Ms. Judit CSEHÁK (MSZP)

National Cultural Heritage

Mr. Gábor GÖRGEY (MSZP)

Children, Youth and Sports

Mr. György JÁNOSI (MSZP)

Education

Mr. Bálint MAGYAR (SZDSZ)

Information Technology and Telecommunications

Mr. Kálmán KOVÁCS (SZDSZ)

Environment Protection and Water Management

Ms. Mária KÓRÓDI (SZDSZ)

PARLIAMENT

unicameral system, Parliament (Országgyűlés) has 386 seats

elections held every four years, last elections took place on 7 and 21 April 2002 with a high turnout (71% in first round, 73.5% in second round); elections according to a combination of the proportional and first-past-the-post election systems

The elections were free and fair and in line with international standards on democratic elections

Four political parties are represented in the new government (see Table below)

The Roma community is again represented in the new Parliament by four Members of Parliament (3 for FIDESz, 1 for MSzP)

Parliament, as supreme legislative authority, has the final say on budgetary and legislative matters

Representation of the political parties in the Parliament:


Seats from individual constituencies

Seats from county lists

Seats from national lists

Total Parliamentary seats

Ration of total Parliamentary seats (386)

Federation of Young Democrats (Fidesz)






Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF)






Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP)






Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ)






FOREIGN POLICY

Hungarian Foreign Policy has been marked by a clear continuity since 1990, even though four different governments have ruled the country since then.

'Return to Europe' was the first aim, then integration into Western political and security structures.

Membership of the EU remains the overriding strategic objective.

Hungary joined NATO on 12 March 1999; it provided airfields and logistical support for the NATO air campaign against FRY in March/April 1999

RECENT POLITICAL EVENTS



September

11th: PM Orbán meets with Chancellor Schröder in Berlin and calles for an individual assessment of candidate countries

7 pro-Torgyán members from the Smallholder Parliamentary group are expulsed.

October

18th: Political discussion day in Parliament on the situation of families, the health care system, public security, education, corruption and the quality of Hungarian democracy.

November

Another Smallholders Party MP confirms to leave the party; as a result, the coalition formally does not any longer dispose of a parliamentary majority
An overwhelming majority in the Parliament finally elects a new Data Protection Ombudsman.

December

18th: The Parliament practically finishes its legislative work for the 1998-2002 term.

22nd: In Budapest the Hungarian and Romanian Prime Ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the implementation of the Hungarian 'status law'.

President Ferenc Mádl decided to call in general elections for April 7 and 21, respectively.

An election co-operation agreement is signed between Fidesz-MDF and Hungary's largest Roma organisation, Lungo Drom.

High-level bilateral meetings with French President Chirac and German Foreign Minister Fischer.



January

PM Orbán meets the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden.

February

PM Orbán meets the Prime Ministers of Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands

April

The opposition parties MSzP and SzDSz win the parliamentary elections on 7 and 21 April with a majority of 10 seats as against the previously governing coalition of PM Orbán's FIDESZ and MDF.

May

15th: The new Parliament is constituted and Péter Medgyessy is designated as the new Prime Minister by President Mádl.


16th to 18th: Inofficial visits of the designated Prime Minister Medgyessy to Germany and the United Kingdom


27th: The new government takes office


28th: PM Medgyessy attends the NATO-Russia summit in Rome and meets i.a. with US President Bush, Russian President Putin, Czech President Havel, Polish President Kwasniewski, the Italian PM Berlusconi and the Danish PM Fogh Rasmussen.

June

19th: PM Medgyessy admits that he had been working for the Hungarian counter-intelligence service from 1977 to 1982. Parliament sets up two ad hoc committees to inquire about Mr. Medgyessy's counter-intelligence activities and possible links of post-1990 Government members to Communist-era state security services respectively.

26th: FM Kovács pays his first official visit abroad, to Germany

29th: The Prime Ministers of the Visegrad-Four countries meet in the Hungarian town of Esztergom to discuss EU accession, V-4 co-operation including financial and cultural aspects as well as NATO membership.

July

3rd: Zoltán Pokorni, the leader of the largest opposition party (Fidesz), resigns over his father's past as informant of the Communist state security service.

6-7th: PM Medgyessy meets with his Romanian counterpart Nastase to discuss, inter alia, political and economic co-operation, a Hungarian-Romanian strategic partnership, the implementation of the 'status law' and the situation of ethnic minorities in both countries.

16th: Parliament approves modifications to the Budget Act serving as a basis for the Government's '100-days programme' by an overwhelming majority.

17-18th: At the Hungarian Standing Conference ('Hungarian-Hungarian summit') leading cabinet officials confirm new Government's commitment for ethnic Hungarians and for protecting their interests.

22nd: FM Kovács meets US Secretary of State Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in Washington to discuss NATO membership, global fight against terrorism and domestic developments.

August

Record high flooding along the river Danube demands no casualties in Hungary and can be kept under control.

5-6th: Annual Ambassadors' Conference in Budapest focuses on EU accession.

12th: Government launches 'glass pocket programme' to make public spending more transparent and to reduce temptation for corruption.

22th : Visegrad-Four Group Presidents meet for a one-day summit in Castolovice (Czech Republic), during which EU and NATO enlargement and support measures after the flooding in the Czech Republic were discussed.

September

FM Kovács pays official visits to Bucharest and Moscow.
The Government launches its second 100-days programme, including mostly welfare interventions targeting the families

October

2-4th: President Mádl pays official visit to Romania
20th: Ruling parties win local government elections
29th: A Council of Roma Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, is established

November

8/9th: PM Medgyessy pays official visit to the United States

3. ECONOMIC SITUATION INCL. TRADE

ECONOMIC SITUATION IN GENERAL

Since 1997, economic growth has been impressive, with the Hungarian economy recording growth rates around 4 % a year. GDP growth at 5.2 % in 2000 was the highest since transition, mainly pushed by export growth rates of over 20%. Despite the world-wide economic slowdown, Hungary's economy grew at 3.8% in 2001, and at 3% during the first six months of 2002. Household and public demand have been picking up since 2001, on the back of significant minimum wage and pension increases and a fiscal expansion, but could not entirely compensate for the slowdown in external demand and corporate investment. Construction keeps growing strongly in 2002, while export-oriented manufacturing is weak, and also foreign tourism is growing less strongly as compared to previous years. Inflation had remained high around the 10 % mark until mid 2001, but finally started to decline, to a year-on-year rate of 4.6% in September 2002. This followed the adoption of an inflation targeting monetary policy by the National Bank, aiming at achieving 'price stability' in 2005, and the opening up of the exchange rate system to a wide intervention band of +/- 15%. Capital movements have been liberalised, and the forint is fully convertible. Unemployment is one of the lowest in candidate countries, at 5.9 percent during the third quarter of 2002. The current account deficit has been on a declining trend towards low levels of around 3 % of GDP, which reflects primarily a slowdown of import-led investment. This deficit continues to be largely financed through non-debt creating inflows. Beyond privatisation, which was largely completed in 1997, FDI rates have declined to annual levels around 2-4% of GDP. Greenfield investment dominates, and the trend from low value-added to high-tech investment continues. Public debt in 2001 declined to 53.1 % of GDP, and the official government deficit turned out 3.3 % of GDP, in line with projections. However, in 2002 the budget situation has worsened considerably, and the deficit this year is expected to grow to levels between 6-8% of GDP.

A new multi-pillar pension system with a high capitalisation component could bring fiscal relief in the longer term, and will be completed from 1 January 2003. Reforms of the ailing healthcare system are an important challenge and figure as a top priority in the government programme, since it is not only inefficient but could also threaten sustainability of the fiscal accounts in the long term. In 2001, a part bailout for the ailing railway system brought some financial relief, and administrative and accounting reform is being implemented in steps. Although a long-term EIB credit was granted for improvements to railway infrastructure, and ISPA funds have been attributed, the lack of public investment in this area remains a problem. The government's investment priority so far has been motorway construction, with a massive public investment programme under way.

TRADE

The economies of Hungary and the EU are increasingly integrated: In 2001, Hungary's share in the EU's trade with the rest of the world reached 2.4% of EU exports and 2.4% of EU imports. Since the start of the change of regime, the main trend in Hungary's trade policy has been continuous trade liberalisation. Hungary's overall trade has grown with extraordinary dynamism: While export volumes have increased by more than 50% since 1989, imports have tripled. Hungary's export and import figures with the EU have quadrupled since 1989. The trade deficit (€ 1.62 billion in 2000 and €1.248 billion at the end of 2001) reflects Hungary's efforts to re-equip the economy with capital goods. The current account deficit (most recent figure: € 1.8 billion for January-June 2002) is mainly due to the modernisation of the economy and the import of consumer goods. The trade deficit is largely covered by the huge inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI). Despite a strong drop in overall corporate investment in 2001, FDI net inflows - both in the form of inter-company loans and primarily greenfield investment - remained high, at 4.7% of GDP. Cumulative FDI inflows per capita at the end of July 2001 amounted to € 2,400. Since privatisation is no longer a relevant source of FDI creation in Hungary, these figures reflect the attractiveness of Hungary as a location for foreign investment, based on competitive total labour cost, a liberal foreign trade regime and a predictable and business-friendly policy framework.

In 2001, Hungary's exports amounted to € 34 billion (58.6% of GDP), and its imports to € 37.5 billion (64.6% of GDP). These figures show a 9.1% increase in total exports and a 6.3% increase in total imports compared to 2000. In 2001, Hungary's trade deficit with the rest of the world amounted to about € 3.5 billion. In 2001, the overall share of Hungarian exports to the EU amounted to 74.3% The share of EU imports stood at 57.8%. Hungary exports mainly machinery and electrical goods (53% share of total in 2001), followed by transport equipment. In 2001, and for the first time in 10 years, Hungary registered a trade surplus with the EU of € 481 million.

Hungary aims to enhance its presence in East Central Europe and South East Europe and in key markets like Russia and the United States. Among the objectives of Hungary's external economic policy is the further increase of commodities and services exports, the diversification of such exports, the promotion of Hungarian direct investment abroad, including capital investment, and the protection of domestic markets, if need be.

4. BILATERAL RELATIONS EU - HUNGARY

THE ACCESSION AND NEGOTIATING PROCESS

Hungary concluded an Association Agreement with the European Communities in December 1991, which has been in force since 1 February 1994. The Agreement covers trade-related issues, political dialogue, legal approximation and other areas of co-operation, including industry, environment, transport and customs and aims at progressively establishing a free-trade area between the EU and Hungary. In March 1994, Hungary was the first country of the region to formally apply for EU membership. At the Luxembourg European Council in December 1997 it was finally decided to launch the accession negotiations with six of the applicant countries, among them Hungary.

The negotiations with Hungary were launched on 30 March 1998. Since then, Hungary has participated in eight meetings of the Accession Conference at ministerial level.

A so-called Regular Report on the progress of each of the candidate countries on the way towards accession is published every autumn. In these reports, the Commission services identify the remaining shortcomings and tasks to be carried out prior to accession to meet the political, economic and legal 'Copenhagen criteria' for accession, with particular emphasis on enforcement and institutional capacity. The latest Regular Reports were published on 9 October 2002. Please consult the report for Hungary through the Documents Section below. On the basis of the Regular Reports, Accession Partnerships were drawn up, which outline the most important short- and medium term priorities that have to be tackled by the respective candidate country in the near future.

In December 2000, the European Council in Nice endorsed a 'roadmap' for the completion of the negotiations, including a calendar for dealing with all topics (so-called 'chapters') over three Presidencies from the beginning of 2001 to mid-2002.

The intention was to enable the fulfilment of the European Council’s determination (stated at Laeken in December 2001) to bring the accession negotiations with the candidate countries that are ready to a successful conclusion by the end of 2002, so that those countries can take part in the European Parliament elections in June 2004 as members following ratification of the accession treaty by the European Parliament and the Parliaments of the 15 Member States and of the candidate country.

In the latest Regular Report that was adopted on 9 October 2002 along with the Strategy Paper, the Commission considered that altogether 10 countries will have fulfilled the economic and acquis criteria and will be ready for membership from the beginning of 2004, bearing in mind the progress achieved by these countries, the track record in implementing their commitments, and taking into account their preparatory work in progress. The European Council in Brussels on 24 and 25 October endorsed the recommendations of the Commission.

The present fulfilment of the roadmap for Hungary is as follows (state of play as of 11November 2002). 29 negotiating chapters and the chapter on 'Institutions' have been opened. 264 out of 29 negotiation chapters have been provisionally closed. The chapters for which negotiations continue are Competition, Agriculture and Budgetary provisions.

The negotiating process is accompanied by regular meetings of a number of bodies under the Europe Agreement, such as the Association Council (once per year, last (10th) meeting in July 2001) and the Association Committee (once per year, last (9th) meeting in May 2002), the EP-Hungary Joint Parliamentary Committee (twice per year, (last (18th) meeting held in November 2002). These fora provide the occasion to review progress in Hungary’s preparations for accession, notably in the light of the Accession Partnership priorities, and in bilateral relations under the Europe Agreement. In addition, a system of nine sub-committees has been established as a forum for technical discussions.

PRE-ACCESSION ASSISTANCE

From 2000 onwards, the Community foresees a combined total of around € 220 million of Pre-accession assistance to Hungary on an annual basis from the three Community instruments.

The PHARE programme that has been providing support to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe since 1989 allocated to Hungary € 1.03 billion during the period 1992 to 1999, € 119.8 million in 2000 and € 108.8 million in 2001. In 2002 Hungary will be entitled to € 120.7 million. This figure includes the additional Institution Building allocation (€ 24.7 million) in support of the Action Plan for Administrative and Judicial Capacity. 1999 Funds were fully contracted by the end of September 2001. 2002 programming is advancing well. The Financing Memorandum for Part I of the 2002 National Programme (€ 37.7 million) has been signed in April 2002. Part II of the same programme (€ 74 million) was approved by the Phare Management Committee in Brussels in late July.

Hungary received € 88 million from ISPA (Instrument for structural policies for pre-accession) in 2000 and € 90.8 million in 2001. The 2002 allocation amounts at € 92.4 million. The support was roughly divided in equal terms for environment and transport projects. During the first two years of its operation 100% of the ISPA allocation has been committed.

The Hungarian SAPARD programme (Special Accession Programme for Agricultural and Rural Development) was adopted by the Commission in October 2000. It foresees the improvement of the competitiveness of the agricultural sector and processing industry focusing on environmental protection and seeks to enhance the adaptation capabilities of rural areas. The average annual public expenditure will amount to € 50.5 during the period 2000-2006, of which € 38.7 million will be the EU-contribution. Hungary signed the Multi-annual Financing Agreement and the Annual Financing Agreement for 2000 on 1 March 2001.

RECENT EU-HUNGARY RELATIONS



July

The Government’s economic cabinet supports the central bank opinion that Hungary should join the EMU as soon as possible (1 January 2006 was mentioned as an 'optimal date'.)

17th: 8th meeting of the Association Council in Brussels

September

13th: Foreign Minister Martonyi meets with Commissioner Verheugen in Brussels

October

8/9th 16th meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Committee in Brussels

11th: Official re-inauguration of the Maria Valeria Bridge between the Slovak Republic and Hungary (Sturovo/ Esztergom) by both Prime Ministers and Commissioner Verheugen. The bridge was co-financed by Phare.

November

8th: 9th meeting of the EU-Hungary Joint Consultative Committee in Brussels

8-10th: Visit of Commissioner Barnier

13th: 2001 Regular Report published.

16th: Visit of Commissioner Diamantopoulou - signing of the Joint Assessment Paper on Hungarian Employment Strategy.

17th: The Government decided to speed up legal approximation and to list the remaining tasks of accession preparations in an Action Plan.

26-27th: Visit of Commissioner Vitorino

29th: Third annual EU discussion day in Parliament. The parties expressed their wish for early accession under the best possible conditions and demanded that the principle of individual treatment in the accession process be retained.

December

15th: Laeken European Council. In Hungary historic significance was attributed to the EU summit.



January

31st: The Prime Minister Candidate of the Socialist Party, Dr Péter Medgyessy, met with Commission President Prodi, Commissioner Verheugen and Director-General Landaburu in Brussels

February

18th : The Chairman of the Socialist Party, László Kovács, meets with Commissioner Verheugen in Brussels

20th: PM Orbán meets Commission President Prodi and EP President Cox in Brussels

25th/26th: The 17th meeting of the EU-Hungary Parliamentary Committee takes place in Budapest

March

15/16th: PM Orbán as well as all other heads of government of the candidate countries take part in the Barcelona summit of the European Council

May

23rd: The designated new Minister for Foreign Affairs, László Kovács, meets Commissioner Verheugen for an exchange of views in Brussels

24th: 10th EU-Hungary Association Committee takes place in Brussels

30-31st: EP President Cox pays an official visit to Hungary.

June

21-22nd: Seville European Council - Hungary concludes that the most important result of the summit was a more exact time frame of enlargement.

July

15-16th: Enlargement Commissioner Verheugen pays an official visit to Hungary.

23rd: Finance Minister Csaba László meets with Commissioners Verheugen, Solbes and Bolkestein in Brussels.

30th: Chapters 20 (Audio-visual Policy and Culture) and 21 (Regional Policy and Co-ordination of Structural Instruments) are provisionally closed with Hungary in the framework of the Accession Negotiations.

August

9th: The Ministry of Finance presents the Pre-Accession Economic Programme for the period 2002-2005.

September

16th: PM Medgyessy meets Commission President Prodi and Commissioner Monti in Brussels

18th to 21st : Budget Commissioner Schreyer pays an official visit to Hungary

19th: The Parliament's EU Grand Committee is established and, on this occasion, the four Parliamentary Parties issue, together with the Government, a Joint Declaration on EU accession

October

3 and 4th: Environment Commissioner Wallström pays an official visit to Hungary

9th: The Hungarian Minister for Economy and Transport, Istvan Csillag, meets Commissioner Loyola de Palacio in Brussels

9th: The Hungarian Government reacts positively to both the Regular Report and the Strategy Paper and appreciate their conclusions

18th: The Government adopts its proposal for constitutional changes required by EU membership and launches four-party consultations

22nd: President Mádl meets Commission President Prodi, EP President Cox and delivers a speech in the European Parliament



LATVIA


Full name:

Republic of Latvia

Founded on:

November 18, 1918

Population:

2.37 million

Area: 

64.589 sq. km

Total length of national border:

1.800 km

Borders with other countries:

Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania

Capital city:

Riga (population: around 800,000)

Currency:

lats (LVL). One lats consists of 100 santims. The lats has been the currency since May 1993

Official language: 

Latvian

Head of State: 

President, who is elected by the Saeima for a period of 4 years. The President promulgates laws, appoints the Prime Minister and performs representative functions. The current presiden, Ms Vaira Vike-Freiberga, was elected in July 1999.

Type of government: 

Democratic, parliamentary republic. Legislative power is in the hands of a single-chamber parliament – the Saeima, composed of 100 deputies. Parliamentary elections take place every 4 years. The last parliamentary elections took place in the autumn of 1998.

Application for EU accession: 

27 October 1995

Latvia is situated at an intersection of trade routs and has long served as a bridge between Western Europe and Russia. The famous 'route from the Vikings to the Greeks' mentioned in ancient chronicles stretched from Scandinavia through Latvian territory along the Daugava River to the ancient Russia and the Byzantine Empire.

Latvia’s three major ports are Ventspils, Riga and Liepaja. Ventspils is the largest port in the Baltic Sea region and is among the 15 leading Europen ports in terms of cargo turnover.

Sectors of the economy: electronics and mechanical engineering, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, wood processing, food processing, textiles, info technologies. The largest trading partner is the European Union.

Geography: Latvia is located in north-eastern Europe on the Baltic Sea. The landscape is marked by lowland plains and rolling hills. Most of the territory is less than 100 metres above sea level. Forests cover more than 40 percent of the country. Latvia’s weather is temperate. The average summer temperature is 18 degrees Celsius, the average winter temperature –5.

LITHUANIA


Area: 

65,300 square km

Population:

3.7 million
80 percent of the population is Lithuanian, 11 percent are Polish and 7 percent are Russians. Dominant religion is Roman Catholic

Capital city:

Vilnius

Currency:

Litas 1 litas= approximately 0.29 Euro

Official language: 

Lithuanian (lietuviu)

Political system: 

Republic. New constitution ratified in October 1992. The country is governed by the President, supreme legislative body Seimas (a unicameral Parliament of 141 members) and the Government

Application for EU accession: 

8 December 1995. Accession negotiations started in February 2000

The name of Lithuania first appeared in written sources in 1009 AD. The modern Lithuanian state was established in 1918 and regained it’s independence in 1990 after 50 years of foreign rule.

Lithuania consists of ten counties and five cultural regions, of which Zemaitija (the Lowland) and Aukstaitija (the Highland) are the biggest and best known. Lithuania borders Poland, Latvia, Belarus and the Kaliningrad district of the Russian Federation. It boasts 99 km of sand-laid seashore and has its tiny Sahara – the dune hills on the Curonian peninsula in the Baltic sea. Dozens of fine lakes, rivers and virgin forests form five national parks and other recreation areas.

25 km north of Vilnius the cartographers set the geographic centre of Europe.

About 56 percent of inhabitants live in three biggest cities – Vilnius, Kaunas and port Klaipeda. Vilnius was established as the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in mid XIV century. Its Renaissance and Baroque old town houses Lithuania’s oldest university established by the Jesuits in 1579.

Lithuania has a modern highway system, several international airports and a major ice-free seaport of Klaipeda. The country is relatively poor of natural resources; however, according to human social development index, the United Nations rates it 52nd among 174 world nations. The major branches of Lithuania’s rapidly modernising economy are services, industry and agriculture. The countries of the European Union are Lithuania’s major trade partners and investors.





MALTA

Map of Malta

Currency:

Maltese Lira (Lm)
2000 average exchange rate against US$ = 2.2855
2000 average exchange rate against € = 2.4741

Capital:

Valletta

Languages:

Maltese is the national language; English is the second official language

Area of Maltese archipelago:

Total of 316 km˛ for the 3 islands (Malta: 246 km˛, Gozo: 67 km˛, Comino: 3 km˛)

Population:

0.39 million (end 2000)
89% urban

Density:

1,234 per km˛ (one of the highest in the world)

Official name:

Repubblika ta' Malta - The Republic of Malta

Constitution:

21st September 1964
Substantially amended in 1974 to bring into effect a republican constitution
Last amendment in 1994

House of Representatives:

65 members

Local councils:


GDP per capita:

11,900 in PPS (2000)
53% of EU average (2000)

Association Agreement:

Entered into force in April 1971

Application for EU membership:

16th July 1990
Frozen in 1996 and re-activated in 1998
Official opening of Accession Conference with Malta in February 2000

History

Malta, a crossroads between Europe and Africa and at the southern tip of the European continent, is a melting pot of civilisations in the heart of the Mediterranean.

Malta boosts a rich legacy from its centuries-old history, from megalithic temples –unique in the world- to its capital Valletta, a jewel of baroque architecture, and its massive fortifications which witnessed the bravery of the Maltese people over the centuries. Again, in 1942, the courage and endurance of the Maltese people was recognised when the United Kingdom awarded to Malta the George Cross in 1942, which is now an integral part of the national flag.

Malta has also a long tradition of hospitality. One of the most famous 'guests' of the archipelago was the apostle Paul – the future St. Paul – who was shipwrecked on Malta in AD 60.

Resources

Natural resources are nearly non-existent, except for its famous golden stone (globigerina), and rivers are absent. Nevertheless farmers succeed to produce a wide variety of products in their small terraced fields. They even export part of their crop. Bee-keeping industry, already renowned in ancient times, is still flourishing.

Still, Malta is not only an island in the sun and an open-air museum in the Mediterranean, it is also an island looking towards the future. Apart the tourism and manufacturing industries by now firmly established, Malta is currently developing its service economy and it also aims to become a hub for communications in the Mediterranean. For this purpose, Malta has a winning card - its human resources - a flexible labour force easily adaptable to new circumstances and having the great advantage to being multi-lingual.

Economy

The budget deficit rose from 4% of GDP in 1995 to over 11% in 1998 due to structural imbalances. The trend has now reversed: 6.7% in 1999 and 6.6% in 2000. The public debt experienced an increase but growth is slowing down and reached 60.6% of GDP in 2000.

Trade

The share of imports and exports in GDP are increasing significantly. The export base of the economy is concentrated in a few sectors, mainly in electronics, machinery and transport equipment (which generated about 75% of total exports in the first half of 2001).

Malta is well integrated in terms of trade with the European Union. The latter accounted for around 33% of Malta’s exports and 60% of its imports in 2000.

The Association Agreement

The Association Agreement between the EU and Malta entered into force in 1971. It constitutes the legal framework for EU-Malta relations and provides for the creation of a customs union in two five-years stages (although this objective has not yet been achieved).

EU Financial and technical co-operation

Aimed at helping to fulfil its objectives, to promote the development of the Maltese economy and its competitiveness, the financial co-operation was developed in four successive financial protocols for Malta and Cyprus between 1978 and 1999 amounting to a total value of 130.5 Meuro. It included EIB and special loans (for infrastructure projects), risk capital funds (for EU-Malta joint ventures), and grants (for technical assistance and equipment related).

The Council has decided a new financial regulation relative to pre-accession aid to Cyprus and Malta, for the period (2000-2004), in March 2000.. The global amount of pre-accession aid available to the two countries for the whole period currently proposed by the Commission is € 95 million, out of which Malta will get € 38 millions. This amount will be used for grants projects designed to facilitate transposition, application and enforcement of the acquis communautaire (technical assistance and institution building).


POLAND



Area: 

312,685 square km

Population:

There are 38,654 million inhabitants, of which 98% are ethnic Poles. Poland recognises 13 national or ethnic minorities.

Official language: 

Polish

Constitution: 

New Democratic Constitution passed in 1997

Administrative division: 

1999: 16 provinces (wojewodztwo), 308 counties (powiat) and 2,489 communes (gmina)

Application for EU accession: 

Submitted to the European Commission in 1994

The Polish state is over 1,000 years old. In the XVIth century, under the Jagiellonian dynasty, Poland was one of the richest and most powerful states on the continent. On May 3, 1791 the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania ratified a constitution, being the first written constitution of Europe. Soon after Poland ceased to exist for 123 years, upon being partitioned by its neighbours Russia, Austria and Prussia. The country regained independence in 1918 for only 20 years. In 1989 the first partially free elections in Poland's post-war history concluded the Solidarity movement's ten-year struggle for freedom and resulted in the defeat of Poland's communist rulers. In 1998 Poland joined NATO and began negotiating its full membership in the European Union. The Constitution passed in 1997 vests legislative power in the Sejm and the Senate The 460 Deputies of the Sejm are elected via party lists and serve a four years term. Parties entering the Sejm have to overcome a 5% (8% for coalitions) threshold. The Sejm plays the dominant role in the legislative process and has the right to supervise the Council of Ministers. The second chamber, the Senate can amend or reject laws passed by the Sejm. The President is the supreme representative of the Republic of Poland and the guarantor of the continuity of State authority. He is elected for a five-year term of office in direct elections. The President can veto laws. A qualified majority in of the Sejm can override the President's veto. The Council of Ministers (the Government) chaired by the Prime Minister is the principal body of the Executive Branch. The Prime-Minister-designate is nominated by the largest parliamentary group and is given a mandate by the President to form a cabinet. The National Assembly elects the proposed Council of Ministers.

The country has a variety of natural resources including coal, copper, zinc, iron, gypsum, lignite and some oil and natural gas reserves. The rapidly developing private sector is now responsible for 70% of the country's economic activities. The dynamic development of the private sectors is based on the continuous inflow of Foreign Direct Investment and the high level of entrepreneurial activity of the Polish population. Dominant industries include metalwork, steel, and chemical and textile production. Increasingly trade, high technology and the service sector play an important role in for employment and restructuring of the national economy.

About a fifth of all Poles are employed in agriculture. This contributes to less than 5% of the GDP. About 60% of the country's land is used for agriculture. Almost one fourth of the population still lives on small, inefficient farms. Poland's main agricultural products include grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fodder and livestock.

For centuries Polish culture has been an integral part of European culture. Among the greatest Polish contributors to European culture are: the astronomer Copernicus, the great composer and pianist Fryderyk Chopin and the outstanding scientist Maria Curie-Skłodowska. During the last two decades the Nobel Prize for literature has been awarded to two Polish poets Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska. A long musical tradition is continued by such world-renowned composers as Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Górecki. Films of Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Kieślowski and Roman Polański contributed highly to the world and European cinema. Polish art and theatre are well known thanks to works of Jerzy Grotowski, Tadeusz Kantor and Magdalena Abakanowicz.

The capital Warsaw (1.6 million inhabitants) is the country's economic and political centre. Cracow - the country's third largest city, has been its cultural centre since the Middle Ages and was in 2000 Cultural City of Europe. Other Polish cities like Gdansk, Poznan, Lódz are of European importance, like the candidature of Wroclaw for EXPO 2010 underlines.

Poland has a high variety of landscapes: the Baltic beaches, the Mazurian Lake District, virgin forests, the Carpathians and the Sudeten Mountains. Poland's 26 national parks and 8 World Heritage sites are a host of historic and cultural sites of European importance and offer numerous tourist attractions.



ROMANIA


Population 2000, mid-year

22.4 million

Area

238,391 km˛

Population density

94.1 inhabitants/km˛

Distribution

55% urban population, 45% rural population

Neighbours
(border in km)

Bulgaria (631), Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (546), Hungary (448), Ukraine (649), Moldova (681), and Black Sea (194)

Major cities

Bucuresti (2,011,305), Iasi (347,606), Constanta (340,497), Cluj-Napoca (332,941), Timisoara (328,148), Galati (327,928)

Ethnic profile

Romanian (89.4%), Hungarian (7.1%) Roma (1.8%), German (0.5%), other (1%)

Languages

Romanian , Hungarian, German, and other minority languages

Religion

Orthodox (88%), Roman Catholic incl. Greek rite, (6%), Protestant (5%), Others (1%)

Life expectancy
at birth

total: 70.5 years (males: 67.0 years, females: 74.2 years )

GDP (current prices)
– total
– per capita


€ 40.0 billion
€ 1,800 / €6,000 (PPS)

Currency

1 Leu = 100 bani (pl.: Lei)

Exchange rate
– annual average 2000
– end-2001


1 € = 19,955 ROL 1 $ = 21,693 ROL
1 € = 29,041 ROL 1 $ = 32,778 ROL

Public budget 2000

Consolidated budget revenues: €12.6 billion
Consolidated budget expenditures. €14.7 billion

Foreign debt 2000

€ 9.0 billion

Foreign trade 2000

Total exports: €11.4 billion (63.8% to EU Member States)
Total imports: €14.4 billion (56.6% from EU Member States)
Trade deficit: €3.0 billion (fob-cif basis)

Shares of gross value added by sectors 2000

Agriculture and forestry 12.6%
Industry 30.5%
Construction 5.3%
Services 51.5%

POLITICAL SITUATION

Form of government

Republic

Constitution

New constitution adopted in 1991

Electoral system

Universal direct suffrage (+18 years); proportional representation subject to 5% threshold

Head of state

President Ion Iliescu

Prime Minister

Adrian Nastase, Government of Romania

Foreign Minister

Mircea Dan Geoana, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Current government

European Integration Minister

Hildegard Carola Puwak, Ministry of European Integration

Parliament

The Parliament is composed of the Chamber of Deputies (lower house) and the Senate (upper house). The two bodies wield equal powers. Parliamentarians are elected through a proportional system at the national level. Elections are held every four years at the same time for both houses. The most recent elections were held in November 2000. The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate have 345 and 140 seats respectively.







PARTY

ABBR

CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES
Seats (%)

SENATE
Seats (%)

Social-Democrat Party
Partidul Social Democrat

PSD



Humanist Party of Romania
Partidul Umanist din Romania

PUR



Greater Romania Party Partidul Romania Mare

PRM



Democratic Party
Partidul Democrat

PD



National Liberal Party
Partidul National Liberal

PNL



Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania
Uniunea democrata a maghiarilor din Romania

UDMR



Ethnic Minorities (Minorities who are officially entitled to a representative in the Chamber of Deputies)





Territorial administration : Local level

Comune (communes):

2,688 communes in Romania. Communes may be formed by one or several villages.

Orase (towns):

263 towns of which 84 have the status of a municipality (municipii).

Territorial administration : County level

Judet -s (counties):

41 + the Capital of Bucharest

Territorial administration : Development regions level

Development regions:

8 (associated neighbouring counties)

ECONOMIC SITUATION

Romania: Main Economic Indicators

Indicator

Unit







GDP in current prices

€ billion







Real GDP growth rate








Inflation rate








  • annual average







  • Dec.-on-Dec.







Unemployment rate,
end-year








  • ILO definition







  • registered







General government
budget balance

% of GDP







EU-ROMANIA RELATIONS

  • Romania is the first country of Central and Eastern Europe to have official relations with the European Community: An agreement including Romania in the community’s Generalized System of Preferences in 1974 and an Agreement on Industrial Products in 1980 are signed.
  • Romania’s diplomatic relations with the European Union date from 1990.
  • Following Romania’s return to democracy, a Trade and Co-operation Agreement is signed 1991. The Europe Agreement enters into force on February 1, 1995, trade provisions having entered into force in 1993 through an 'Interim Agreement'.
  • Romania submits its application for EU membership on June 22, 1995.
  • In July 1997, the Commission publishes an 'Opinion on Romania’s Application for Membership of the European Union'. In the following year, a Regular Report on Romania’s Progress Towards Accession' is produced. In its second 'Regular Report' on Romania published in October 1999, the Commission recommends starting the accession negotiations with Romania conditional, among others, on the improvement of the situation of children in institutional care and the drafting of a medium-term economic strategy.
  • Following the European Council’s decision in December 1999’s Helsinki summit, EU accession negotiations are started with Romania on February 15, 2000 (negotiations are also started with with Malta, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria).
  • At the end of 2001, accession negotiations on nine (Company law (5), Fisheries (8), Statistics (12), SMEs (16),Science and research (17),Education and training (18), Consumers and health protection (23), External relations (26) and CFSP (27)) of the 31 acquis chapters are already provisionally closed; negotiations on eight of them are being processed Click here for State of Play.
  • Romania’s aim is to gain EU membership in 2007.


EU-ROMANIA TRADE

The development of foreign trade in Romania is illustrated in the following figure. In 2000, exports totalled €11.4 billion while imports amounted to €14.4 billion. Compared with the previous year’s performance, Romanian levels of trade grew considerably in 2000 (exports: 41.1%; imports: 43.7%). This surge in trade is all the more remarkable when one considers the fact that Romanian exports fell by 5.2% in 1999 and the growth in imports had historically been slow.

Graphical element

Most important destination countries of Romanian exports (2001)

Italy: 35.8% of Romanian exports to the EU
Germany: 23.1%
France: 11.6%

Romania imports from EU

Italy: 33.8%
Germany: 29.2%
France: 10.4%

Most important imports from Romania

Textiles: 37%
Machinery: 16%
Foot wear : 12%

Most important exports to Romania

Machinery: 27%
Textiles: 25 %
Transport: 8%
Chemical products: 8%

PRE-ACCESSION AID

Overview

From 2000 onwards, the EU’s pre-accession aid to Romania is provided by three main instruments:

  • the Phare Programme, providing funding for institution-building and investment in support of EU accession preparations;
  • ISPA (the pre-accession instrument providing investments in transport and environmental infrastructure); and
  • SAPARD (the financial instrument supporting agriculture and rural development).

The total volume of pre-accession assistance available to Romania is substantial (at least €630 million per year in total from the three instruments). This represents a very important financial resource for Romania, equal to around 6% of the annual consolidated Romanian national budget revenues, and up to 25% of investment expenditure under the national budget.

Phare

The Phare programme allocated €1.45 billion to Romania during the period 1990-2000, and a further €298.7 million was allocated under the Phare 2001. The total allocation for 2002 is expected to be €242 million. In addition, up to €36.5 million of additional funds may be made available to support enhanced institutional building actions, on the basis of an adequate strategy and corresponding projects to be submitted by Romania.

The Annual Phare National Programmes for Romania since 2000 deal with a wide range of areas of activity under four main priorities derived from the Copenhagen criteria:

  • strengthening democracy and the rule of law;
  • strengthening the capacity to withstand the competitive pressures of the internal market;
  • meeting the obligations of the acquis; and
  • economic and social cohesion.

Around 30% of the Phare allocation is used for 'institution-building', including twinning projects that are implemented by Member State institutions. The remaining 70% is used for financing investments.

For 2000 and subsequent years, the overall allocation to Romania also includes €13 million for cross-border co-operation (CBC) projects with Bulgaria and Hungary. Continued financing of the costs of Romania’s participation in Community programmes is also envisaged as an important component of the annual Phare programmes for Romania.

Romania also benefits from Phare funded multi-country and horizontal programmes such as TAIEX (technical assistance on the approximation of EU legislation), the Access Programme for Civil Society and the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises facility.

ISPA

The annual allocation to Romania under ISPA is between €208-270 million for the period 2000-2006. The sectors benefiting from ISPA are transport and the environment, with both sectors receiving around half of the annual allocation.

The ISPA programme is designed principally to support municipalities in the field of the environment and the central authorities in the field of transport.

In order to bring Romania up to EU standards, ISPA will concentrate on the ‘heavy investment’ directives (mainly drinking water, treatment of wastewater, solid-waste management and air pollution). An overall ISPA strategy in the field of the environment was adopted in 2000 by Romania and the Commission and is currently being revised.

Since the beginning of 2000, eleven projects have been approved, accounting for a total ISPA allocation of more than €300 million (multi-annual commitments) in the areas of sewerage networks, drinking water treatment and waste management.

In the transport sector ISPA will concentrate on projects located on the Trans-European Networks (TENs) in the field of railways, roads, ports and airports. An overall ISPA strategy in the field of transport was adopted by Romania and the Commission in early 2000, focusing on the upgrading of Corridors IV and IX for both road and rail.

Since the beginning of 2000, six projects have been approved, accounting for a total ISPA allocation of more than €500 million (multi-annual commitments).

SAPARD

The annual allocation to Romania under SAPARD is €153 million for the period 2000 – 2006. The Commission adopted Romania's National Plan for Rural Development on the 22nd of November 2000. This plan will provide the framework for SAPARD implementation in Romania and identifies four main themes of intervention:

  • improving the competitiveness of food processing;
  • rural infrastructure;
  • development and diversification of the rural economy; and
  • development of human resources.

A SAPARD Agency subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture has been set up and will be responsible for both operational implementation and the financial management of the programme.

Other Sources of EU Funding

The other EU institution that is actively involved in Romania is the European Investment Bank which provides large scale loans to projects aimed at helping the transition to a market-based economy and meeting the acquis. EIB action is co-ordinated with the PHARE programme, as well as with EU Member States' financing institutions and with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Since 1990, the EIB has granted loans to the value of €1.45 billion. Three quarters of this funding has been for investments in the transport sector.


SLOVAKIA

Official name:

Slovak Republic

Form of state:

Parliamentary Republic

Population:

5.4  million inhabitants

Area:

49,035 km2

Density:

108 inhabitants per km2

Distribution:

56.9% urban; 43.7% rural

Neighbouring
countries:

Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine

Ethnic profile:

Slovak (85.8%), Hungarian (9.7%), Roma (1.7%) (according to other sources, could reach 10%), Czech (0.8%), Ruthenian (0.4%), Ukrainian (0.2%), German (0.1%), Polish (0.04%)

Languages: 

Official: Slovak; other: Hungarian

Religion: 

Roman Catholic (68.9%), Protestant (9.1%), Greek-Catholic (4.1%), Jewish (0.04%), Atheist (13%), unknown (3%)

Life expectancy: 

68.4 years (male), 76.3 years (female) (1995)

Currency:

Slovak crown (1€=42,48 crowns) (Oct. 2001)







SLOVENIA

Population:

Just under two million inhabitants

Capital city:

Ljubljana

Currency:

Slovenian tolar - SIT

GDP per capita:

16,100 PPS (2000 data), which equals 71% of EU average. Slovenia is one of the most prosperous candidate countries for EU membership. The GDP of Slovenia is above Greece and close to that of Portugal.

Official language: 

Slovene (slovenščina)

Head of State: 

The President of the Republic represents Slovenia and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces

Legislative bodies: 

The Republic of Slovenia is a Parliamentary democracy with the National Assembly (90 MPs) and the National Council (40 counsellors). The government, composed of Prime Minister and the cabinet, is the executive branch

Ljubljana, which was founded as the Roman town of Emona, is rich in baroque architecture. Its inhabitants enjoy varied cultural life with numerous summer festivals stretching from early spring to late autumn. The 20,000-plus students who attend the University of Ljubljana keep the city young.

Adrenaline seekers should not miss the three-headed Mt Triglav (2864m; 9394ft), Slovenia's highest mountain. Early Slavs believed the mountain to be the home of a three-headed deity who ruled the sky, the earth and the underworld. Today, Triglav is prominently placed on the national flag and is one of the national symbols. Located in beautiful mountainous area under the peaks of the Alps are the Bled and Bohinj lakes.

Slovenia's short Adriatic coast hosts the cities of Koper and Piran. Koper is known for its large international port, and it was the capital of Istria under the Venetian Republic in the 15th and 16th centuries. Piran on the other hand, is everyone's favourite little town on the coast, a gem of Venetian Gothic architecture with narrow streets and bustling nightlife.

Lipica, located near the Italian border and world famous because of its Lipizzaner horses, is probably the world's oldest stud farm. This world centre of dressage was founded in 1580. The region of Kras (western Slovenia) where it is situated is also known for its caves. Over two million years, water has created a fantastic décor of stalactites and stalagmites in the 20 km of caves and underground passages in the famous Postojna Caves.

Slovenes are very keen on sports and have won Olympic medals in downhill skiing, rowing, shooting, kayaking and athletics. Their favourite leisure activity is downhill skiing in winter and hiking in summer as the country, about the size of Wales or Israel, is full of hills and mountains.

TURKEY

Map of Turkey - Nov. 2001


Population:

67,803,927 -2000 census

Urban population:

44,006,274 (64,9% of total)

Rural population:

23,797,653 (35.1% of total)

Area (total):

779,452 sq.km of which 35% arable, 4% permanent crops, 26% forestry

Anatolia:

755,688 sq.km

Thrace:

24,888 sq.km

Total length of land borders:

2,627 km

Land borders with
neighbours (in km):

Armenia (268), Azerbaijan (9), Bulgaria (240), Georgia (252), Greece (206), Iran (499), Iraq (331), Syria (822)

Total length of coasts:

8,333 km

The most populated
Provinces
(2000 census):

Istanbul (10,018,735 ) - Ankara (4,007,860) - Izmir (3,370,866)

Other Provinces:

Bursa - Konya - Adana - Antalya - Icel - Urfa - Dyarbakir - Manisa - Hatay - Kocaeli - Samsun - Balikesir - Gaziantep - K.Maras

International airports:

Istanbul (Ataturk), Ankara (Esenboga), Adana, Bodrum (Milas), Trabzon, Gaziantep, Izmir (Adnan Menderes), Antalya (Antalya), Dalaman (Dalaman), Nevesehir, Samsun

National airports:

Adiyaman,  Agn, Balikesir, Batman, Denizli, Dyarbakir, Edremit, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Isparta, Kars, Kayseri, K.Maras, Konya, Malatya, Mus, S.Urfa, Sivas, Sinop, Tokat, Van

Major sea ports:

Istanbul, Antalya, Trabzon, Iskenderun, Samsun, Mersin, Izmir

Languages:

The official language is Turkish.

Life expectancy:

Male: 66, Female: 71 (1995)

Currency:

Turkish lira (TL) 1 euro=1.619.000 TL (Oct. '02 info-euro)

POLITICAL SITUATION

Official name:

Republic of Turkey - Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

Constitution:

7 November 1982, amended in 1995, 1999 and 2001

Electoral system:

18 years of age, universal suffrage, separate parliamentary and local elections (both every 5 years), 10% threshold.

Head of State:

President Ahmet Necdet Sezer (since 16 May 2000)

Prime Minister:

Abdullah Gül

Minister of Foreign 
Affairs:

Yasar Yakis

Industry and Trade Minister:

Ali Coskun

Minister of Justice:

Cemil Cicek

Internal administrative
organisation:

The central administration, headed by the PM and Ministers, is represented in the territory by 81 governors in the 81 provinces. (There is also a super governor for the State of Emergency region.) There are sub-governors at district level. Though similar to the French 'prefet', the Governor is assisted by a directly elected provincial council, and district councils. Several ministries have offices at provincial and district level. (There are seven - geographical - regions in Turkey, essentially for statistical purposes.)
An autonomous local administration exists at the level of municipalities (16 large metropolitan municipalities (MM) - subdivided in sectors - and 3200 othe smaller towns) which elect a mayor and a municipal council. Istanbul MM has a population of 8.5 million, Ankara over 3 million, Izmir over 2 million.
In 50,000 villages a Council of Elders and village headman are directly elected by the village assembly.

PARLIAMENT (TURKISH GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY)

The Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA ) is a one-chamber parliament composed of 550 deputies. Elections are based on proportional representation subject to a national threshold of 10%.

Elections take place every 5 years. The TGNA, as well as the President, can decide to hold new elections before the period of time is completed. Only if 5% of the total number of seats are vacated (death, resignation, etc.) an intermediary election is held.

MPs are elected by party list, drawn up by absolute discretionary power of party leaders. Once elected, they gain access to immunity from prosecution, unless TGNA lifts immunity. After two years as MP, they get lifelong privileges.

The TGNA works in the form of commissions which prepare legislation etc.

The TGNA legislates, supervises the Council of Ministers, adopts the budget. It decides on declaring war, martial law or emergency rule; it approves international agreements, general or special amnesties.

The laws passed by the TGNA are promulgated by the President within 15 days. The President may refer the law back to the Assembly for reconsideration.

The TGNA elects the President of the Republic.

CUSTOMS UNION EU - TURKEY

The Customs Union was established in 1995. Important developments are as follows:

Turkey's share in EU's total exports was 2.3% in 1995 and 2.7% in 1999 (the latest available figure). The same figure for imports was 1.7% in 1995 and 1.9% in 1999. As one can see, Turkey's share both in term of imports and exports in EU's trade developed positively and in equal manners. As of 1999, Turkey is the EU's 7th biggest export destination (up from 9 in 1990) and 13th biggest exporter to the EU (up from 17 in 1990). This shows that both sides profited from the Customs union agreement.









































IV. NEGOTIAITIONS


Europe has witnessed some major events in recent years. The break-up of the Soviet Union and the resulting end of the Cold War have profoundly altered the existing geopolitical order, marking the end of the old models for the international balance of power. The process of European integration has also gathered pace sharply.

Against this new backdrop, the process of enlargement to include central and eastern Europe, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey represents an historical undertaking for the European Union. It is an opportunity too. An enlarged Union with, in its initial phase at least, over 100 million new citizens will promote trade and economic activity and give fresh impetus to the growth and integration of the European economy as a whole. The accession of new Member States will enhance the Union's weight and influence internationally.

Whatever happens, the issue of enlargement will dominate EU policy in the coming years. The central and eastern European countries, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey are, in principle, all starting out on equal terms. However, economic and political realities in these countries are often very different. This presents the Union with unprecedented institutional and political challenges.

Although its population could rise by over 25% to 500 million with the first wave of accessions, its total GDP will grow by no more than 5%. Notwithstanding the enormous efforts undertaken by these countries, their integration into existing programmes and structures will be a very delicate task.

1.The Association Agreements (Europe Agreements

The already considerable volume of trade between ten Central and Eastern European countries (excluding Albania and all successor states of the former Yugoslavia other than Slovenia) and the European Union was boosted with the signing of the Association Agreements (also known as Europe Agreements).

These form the legal framework for association between the applicant countries and the European Union and cover their political and economic relations. Their objective is to provide an appropriate framework for the applicant countries' gradual integration into the Community. Europe Agreements have been concluded with Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The Association Agreements' objective is to establish a free-trade area by 2002 liberalising trade in industrial products and providing a basis for economic co-operation in a large number of sectors. The Association Councils also provide a forum for discussion at ministerial level of the progress made in preparing for accession. The Agreements cover the main areas in which the Community acquis is to be adopted. They are being used to help the applicant countries draw up schedules for incorporating the acquis and transposing the Community's legal rules into their national law prior to accession.

The Association Agreements with Cyprus, Malta and Turkey cover the same fields as those with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (with the exception of political dialogue) and are aimed at establishing a customs union. In 1995, Turkey signed a customs union agreement with the European Union.


Country Association Agreement signed on Accession application submitted on Association Agreement :

Bulgaria 1-3-1993 14-12-1995 OJ L 358, 31.12.94

Cyprus 19-12-1972 3-07-1990 OJ L 133, 21.05.77

Czech Republic 6-10-1993 17-1-1996 OJ L 360, 31.12.94

Estonia 12-6-1995 24-11-1995 OJ L 68, 9.3.98

Hungary 16-12-1991 31-3-1994 OJ L 347, 31.12.93

Latvia 12-6-1995 13-10-1995 OJ L 26, 2.2.98

Lithuania 12-6-1995 8-12-1995 OJ L 51, 20.2.98

Malta 5-12-1970 3-7-1990 OJ L 61, 14.3.71

Poland 16-12-1991 5-4-1994 OJ L 348, 31.12.93

Romania 8-2-1993 22-6-1995 OJ L 357, 31.12.94

Slovakia 6-10-1993 27-6-1995 OJ L 359, 31.12.94

Slovenia 10-6-1996 10-6-1996 OJ L 51, 26.2.99

Turkey 12-9-1973 14-4-1987 OJ 217, 29.12.64

2.Copenhagen European Council (June 1993)

The Copenhagen European Council not only approved the principle of the EU's enlargement to embrace the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe, it also defined the criteria which applicants would have to meet before they could join the Community.

These criteria concern:

the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities (political criterion);

the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the European Union (economic criterion);

the ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union (criterion concerning adoption of the Community acquis).


3. Essen European Council (December 1994)

The Essen European Council embarked upon a pre-accession strategy to prepare the countries which had signed an association agreement with the European Union for membership. This focuses on:

the Europe Agreements (or Association Agreements);

the White Paper of May 1995 defining key measures in each sector of the internal market and priorities in the harmonisation of legislation;

a structured institutional dialogue;

the Phare programme which is the pivotal financial instrument in the pre-accession strategies.

A key component in the strategy is the cross-border cooperation programme which is designed to foster co-operation between states, regions and interest groupings either side of the European Union's border with Central European countries.



4. Madrid European Council (December 1995)

At the Madrid European Council, the Commission presented an interim report in which it stressed the potential benefits of enlargement for peace and security and economic growth and development throughout Europe but noted that the prerequisite for accession was adoption of the Community acquis as at the date of accession although transitional measures could be required in certain sectors such as agriculture and free movement of persons.


5. The Amsterdam European Council (June 1997)

The Amsterdam European Council marked the successful conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference by adopting the Treaty of Amsterdam.

Although the Treaty made significant advances on social and employment matters, it fell short of one of its key goals: institutional reform. A further Intergovernmental Conference would consequently be required to reform an institutional system which had been designed for the six original Member States before any future members could be admitted to the European Union


6. Agenda 2000

The European Commission published Agenda 2000 on 16 July 1997. This three-part policy document looks at:

the future of the main areas of Community policy;

the European Union's financial perspectives for the period 2000-2006;

the Union's enlargement.

Attached to it are the Commission's opinions, prepared on the basis of the Copenhagen accession criteria, on membership applications from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The Commission proposed that negotiations be launched initially with the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. The negotiations with Cyprus would open six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference.

The first accession criterion (political criterion), which concerns, notably, respect for democracy and human rights, appears to have been met by all countries except Slovakia where, in the Commission's view, the rule of law and democracy is not sufficiently rooted in political life and there is insufficient protection of minorities. Consequently it was excluded from the first wave of applicants.

The economic criterion: the five countries chosen are considered to have viable market economies and Slovakia is very close to this goal. As regards the second requirement under this criterion - capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union - the Czech Republic and Slovenia are considered to have made the greatest progress and Hungary and Poland appear to be proceeding apace with restructuring with Estonia following up the rear.

The third criterion (ability to adopt the Community acquis) highlights the differences between:

Bulgaria and Romania which were considered to be unable to take on the obligations of membership in the medium term;

the three Baltic States and Slovenia which were unlikely to be able to adopt the body of the Community acquis in the medium term unless they made substantial efforts;

Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia which should be able to take on the main part of the Community acquis in the medium term provided progress was made in specific sectors.

Each applicant country will receive a road map tracing its progress in adopting the Community acquis which itself is constantly evolving.

Agenda 2000 also establishes a financial framework for supporting the pre-accession process in the applicant countries. EUR 21 billion is provided in pre-accession aid to the Central and Eastern European countries for the period 2000-2006. This takes three forms:

the Phare programme: EUR 10.5 billion (EUR 1.5 billion a year). Since 1997 this has focused on the two main priorities for adoption of the Community acquis;

aid for agricultural development totalling EUR 3.5 billion (EUR 500 million a year);

structural aid amounting to EUR 7 billion (EUR 1 billion a year) to be used primarily to help applicant countries comply with Community infrastructure standards in the transport and environmental sectors. It will also be used to familiarise these countries with structural project procedures.


7. Luxembourg European Council (December 1997)

The Luxembourg Council approved the Commission's analysis in Agenda 2000. It decided that negotiations should commence with six countries (now known as the Luxembourg group) - the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia plus Cyprus.

EUR 100 million has also been allocated to the second wave of countries (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia) to finance projects to help them catch up in applying economic reforms.

8. The European Conference

On 6 October 1997 the Foreign Ministers of the fifteen Member States endorsed the French plan for a European Conference to accompany the enlargement process. The first Conference was held in London on 12 March 1998 and was attended by Member States of the European Union and all aspirant European countries which had concluded an association agreement with the Union. It is a multilateral forum for political consultations on common foreign and security policy, justice and home affairs and economic and regional co-operation. Turkey declined to attend. The Conference is held each year at head of state or government level and is attended by the President of the Commission and, where appropriate, national ministers.


9.Accession negotiations

The accession process started on 30 March 1998 with the first wave of applicant countries (the Luxembourg group).

The negotiations focus on applicants' ability to take on all the obligations of a Member State of the European Union and to apply the Community acquis once they join and, more particularly, on immediate measures to extend the single market. They also cover the pre-accession aid which the Union is to provide to help the applicants adopt the Community acquis. Negotiations may be concluded even if the acquis has not been fully adopted as transitional measures may be introduced after accession. Any transitional periods must be as short as possible and cover as few sectors as possible.

The negotiations are taking place in bilateral Intergovernmental Conferences with six-monthly ministerial meetings and monthly ambassadorial meetings.

Negotiating positions will not be finalised until a detailed evaluation of the situation in each applicant country ('screening') has been undertaken in relation to Community legislation and the second and third pillars of the Treaty on European Union

The joint negotiating positions are defined by the Commission for each of the chapters of Community competence and unanimously adopted by the Council. The results of the negotiations are incorporated into a draft accession treaty. This must be approved by the European Union and ratified by the Member States and the applicant countries.


10. The enhanced pre-accession strategy

The enhanced pre-accession strategy was welcomed by the Dublin European Council in December 1996. It makes use both of existing instruments (the Europe Agreements, the White Paper on the internal market and the Phare programme) and a new instrument forming the keystone of the strategy, the accession partnerships.

The accession partnerships launched on 15 March 1998 provide a single framework for their three basic components:

priority areas in which the Community acquis is to be adopted;

programming the Union's financial assistance;

the terms applying to this aid: compliance with the obligations under the Europe Agreements and progress in meeting the Copenhagen criteria.

They bring together all forms of assistance to the countries preparing for accession. They involve:

a national programme for adopting the Community acquis in which each applicant must specify the laws and regulations, institutional and administrative reforms and human and budgetary resources they intend to deploy in each priority area identified in the accession partnership;

a joint evaluation of economic policy priorities;

pact against organised crime ;

the road maps introduced in 1997 by the Member of the Commission responsible for the internal market to help applicant countries take up the Community acquis.

The Commission has undertaken to submit a report to the European Council each year on the progress made by each of the applicant countries. The Commission may, in the light of progress made, recommend to the Council that negotiations be opened with the second wave of countries or propose that the pre-accession aid be reduced or abolished. The second report was published by the Commission in October 1999, the third in November 2000 and the latest in November 2001.


11. The Berlin European Council (March 1999)

The Berlin European Council reached an overall agreement on Agenda 2000. In the matter of enlargement, the agreement includes the creation of two pre-accession instruments: a structural instrument ( ISPA ) and an agricultural instrument ( SAPARD ). The European Council also established a financial framework for these instruments and decided to double pre-accession aid from 2000. This agreement was given substance by the adoption, in June 1999, of regulations establishing the two instruments and another on the overall co-ordination of pre-accession aid .

The Berlin European Council also confirmed the renewed Phare programme as the main instrument of intervention, geared to two key priorities for the adoption of the acquis, with 30% of its budget earmarked for institution building (the reinforcement of the applicant countries' administration and institutions) and 70% for investment financing. Further investment projects will be financed by the structural and agricultural pre-accession instruments.


12. The Helsinki European Council (December 1999)

The Helsinki European Council decided to convene bilateral intergovernmental conferences in February 2000 with a view to opening negotiations with Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Malta (now known as the Helsinki group).

The principle of differentiation, according to which the various applicant countries can catch up with those who began negotiations at an earlier stage, was reaffirmed by the Council.

It also took note of the Commission's recent evaluation of progress by the candidate countries (reports of 13 October 1999).


13. The Nice European Council (December 2000)

The Nice European Council stressed that with the entry into force of the Nice Treaty and the institutional changes it entailed, the European Union would be able to receive the applicant countries that were ready from the end of 2002, enabling them to participate in the 2004 European elections.

The Member States adopted the common position they would maintain during the accession conferences in relation to the allocation of seats in the European Parliament, the weighting of votes in the Council and the composition of the Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions for a Union with 27 members.

The European Council welcomed the new enlargement strategy adopted by the Commission in November 2000. In its view, the 'roadmap' contained in this strategy comprises a flexible indicative framework, which will be adjusted according to the progress made by each applicant, for example to enable those who are best prepared to advance more rapidly in the negotiations.


14. The Gothenburg European Council (June 2001)

This European Council confirmed that it should be possible to close the negotiations with the applicant countries that were ready before the end of 2002 with a view to enabling them to participate as Members in the 2004 European Parliament elections. In addition, it indicated that the process of ratifying the Nice Treaty was continuing in spite of the result of the Irish referendum.


15. The Laeken European Council (December 2001)

The Council agreed with the Commission's 2001 report which stated that if the current rate of negotiations and reforms continued, all of the applicant countries (with the exception of Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey) would be ready for accession by the end of 2002. With regard to Bulgaria and Romania, the goal was to open negotiations on all chapters throughout the course of 2002.






V. BENEFITS OF ENLARGEMENT


The benefits of enlarging the Union to include these countries are political, economic, and cultural:

The extension of the zone of peace, stability and prosperity in Europe will enhance the security of all its peoples.

The addition of more than 100 million people, in rapidly growing economies, to the EU’s market of 370 million will boost economic growth and create jobs in both old and new member states.

There will be a better quality of life for citizens throughout Europe as the new members adopt EU policies for protection of the environment and the fight against crime, drugs and illegal immigration.

The arrival of new members will enrich the EU through increased cultural diversity, interchange of ideas, and better understanding of other peoples.

Enlargement will strengthen the Union’s role in world affairs – in foreign and security policy, trade policy, and the other fields of global governance.

Benefits are already visible:

  • In Central and Eastern Europe, stable democracies have emerged, with democratic institutions and increased respect for minorities.
  • The economic reforms in these countries have led to high rates of economic growth (higher than the EU) and better employment prospects.
  • This process has been helped and encouraged by the prospect of EU membership, and by the EU’s financial assistance.

As a result the Union enjoys growing trade with these countries (€ 17 billion trade surplus in 2000), and this generates employment and growth in the member states.

Conditions for Success

To achieve these benefits, the conditions for a successful enlargement must be respected:

  • The future members need to fulfill all the criteria for membership.
  • The Union needs to prepare itself adequately to receive them.
  • The Commission makes regular assessments of the progress of the applicant countries: none are yet fully ready, but all have made remarkable progress in the last decade.

The criteria for membership were fixed by the European Council in Copenhagen:

democracy, the rule of law, human rights, respect for minorities;a functioning market economy, and the capacity to cope with competitive pressures; the ability to take on the obligations of membership (in other words, to apply effectively the EU’s rules and policies).

The Union itself must prepare for the arrival of new members by:

  • making the institutional changes necessary for enlargement: that means ratifying the Treaty of Nice; meanwhile, the applicant countries are already participating in the ongoing debate on the future of Europe.
  • providing the budgetary means: that has already been done, with the European Council’s decisions in Berlin.

Finally, agreement must be found in the accession negotiations on terms which:

safeguard the basic rules and policies of the Union; provide adequate flexibility for transitional periods in areas where the application of the rules could pose economic or social problems, for old or new members.






















































VI. EAST-WEST ECONOMIC INTEGRATION AND ENLARGEMENT



As their main source of trade, aid and investments, the EU is the key economic partner for CEE countries, and economic interests are one of their motivations for joining. Economic interpenetration between the EU and CEE economies has so far been rapid, with the CEE countries quickly reorienting their trade from Council for Mutual Economic Assistance(CMEA) markets to the EU in the early years of transition. However, the importance of this integration has been somewhat asymmetric because the small CEE economies are much less important as trading partners for the EU countries. Moreover, degrees of economic involvement with the CEE region vary considerably across the EU-15, making economic interests for all but a few EU member states quite small.
































VII. THE EFECTS OF INTEGRATION




Factor mobility and trade

The CEE countries' trade is already very much directed towards the EU. Imports of industrial products from the CEECs to the EU have been liberalized since the start of 1997. The end of 2001 concluded liberalization of exports of industrial products from the EU to the applicant countries. The overall trade implications will be much more pronounced in the applicant countries because CEE exports represent just under one per cent of the GDP of the current EU, whereas exports to the EU represent 15 per cent of the CEECs' GDP.

Growth in CEE trade may continue to be rapid on account of economic growth and differences in growth rates, even if EU membership itself does not produce any further significant boost to growth.

The free trade provisions do not cover agricultural products, which are important to the CEECs. The concessions made by the EU under the Europe Agreements to agricultural products are negligible. The applicant countries give considerably less support to their agricultural sectors than in the EU, both in terms of boarder protection and domestic subsidies. Under the Europe Agreements, certain agricultural products from the EU are given preferential treatment in the applicant countries and most quantity restrictions have also been abolished. Thus the EU's agricultural trade surplus with the CEECs is largely attributable to asymmetrical trade liberalization. EU membership will alter this situation to the benefit of the new Member States unless the change is hampered by long transition periods.

Apart from some sensitive sectors, EU enlargement ought not to cause major changes to trade flows. On the other hand it is generally assumed that membership will have a major influence on investments even though most of the CEECs have a relatively open investment climate already. The biggest change with full membership is likely to be the reduction in investment-related risks and greater stability and credibility. Legislative harmonization and a reduction in institutional uncertainty may have a significant effect on investment growth both in the short and long term. In practice this means that investments will partly be redirected from the old to the new Member States. The experience of Spain's accession to the EEC supports the view that membership will lead to a spike in investment flows.

So far foreign direct investment has been concentrated only on the most successful CEECs. Those countries, which have been most proficient in implementing reforms, which have gone furthest in privatization and have succeeded in combating inflation, have also succeeded in attracting foreign investment. Privatization has already advanced very far, especially in Hungary and Poland and in recent years also in the Baltic States. This means that most of the companies that attract foreign investors have already been sold through privatization programs. Therefore the most advanced applicant countries are increasingly dependent not on companies being purchased but on true direct investments – new investments. Any reduction in direct investments would slow the catch-up process with the EU. Direct investments have also been the most important means of funding current account deficits.

The movement of capital via direct investments is generally easier and quicker than the movement of labour from one country to another. Capital is more mobile than labour. EU membership is likely to increase the credibility and attractiveness of the transition economies joining the Union as investment destinations. The prospect of EU membership and efforts undertaken by some of the transition economies themselves have already led to significant direct investments (particularly in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Estonia). When capital moves into the new Member States, labour does not need to move away. The movement of capital into the new Member States will slightly dampen demand for labour and the growth in real wages in the old Member States and thus marginally weaken their attractiveness as destinations for migration. Direct investments will correspondingly increase demand for labour, productivity and real wages in the new Member States, in turn reducing migration. If this favourable trend continues for long enough, the final outcome will be that the economies become more similar and the differences in living standards disappear.


Effects of full membership


The enlargement implies two kinds of changes for the economic environment of the new entrant economies. New members are affected by changes in traditional trade policy as well as institutional factors that will follow from the adoption of common market rules and institutions. In the sense of traditional trade policy, enlargement is a formation of a custom union. This implies removal of all bilateral border measures between the EU and CEECs and adoption of common trade policy measures against third parties. Since tariffs in industrial trade are removed when the enlargement is planned to take place, the most important aspect in the bilateral trade relations are the removal of trade barriers in agricultural and food production and the introduction of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to new entrant economies. The customs union implies also harmonization of new entrants tariffs against third parties to those applied in EU.

Trade policy is only one aspect of the integration. EU is a single common market area with harmonized commercial legislation and industrial standards. Unified regulations covercommon competition and state-aids policy as well as administrative procedures to implement these regulations. The internal trade is also free of border formalities. Despite the duty free character of trade in manufactures, this trade is subject to rules of origin regulations that impedes completely unparalleled access to EU’s internal markets. The membership in Union removes these frictions in trade. Balwin et al. (1997) has emphasized the importance of these aspects for the improved business confidence in new member countries. Harmonized market rules constrains the opportunity of new entrants to conduct arbitrary commercial and industrial policy. In addition to the goodwill effects regional integration reduces transaction costs of bilateral trade with new partners in common market area. If membership takes place without transition periods and without changes in the current EU policies, it will mean an immediate transition to the free movement of labor, significant income transfers to agriculture within Common Agricultural Policies and subsidized investments in infrastructure through the structural funds. The new members will also be involved in the EU's decision-making. Because agriculture and structural funds are overwhelmingly most important categories in budgetary terms, they will also be of major importance for new members states.

The Structural Funds are transfers to poorer member states and regions in the EU. Funds are targeted to increase 'social cohesion', that is generally taken to mean convergence of per capita incomes. EU's structural policy has strong regional emphasis but there are also nonregional objectives. From Single European Act onward the Structural funds have been allocated within operational periods. In period 1994-1999 regional policies were addressed under four objectives and non-regional cohesion policies under three objectives. These polices were financed from four different funds. In Agenda 2000 the number of objectives was diminished into three:

  • Objective 1: Regions that are lagging behind,
  • Objective 2: Economic and social conversion of areas facing structural difficulties,
  • Objective 3: Adaptation and modernization of policies and systems of education training and employment.

In addition to these, there is a special Cohesion Fund for less developed member states to support the development to meet the criteria of monetary union. There's also a separate Community initiative program to support transnational, cross-boarder and inter-regional actions. The first two objectives are regional and the third one uses horizontal measures that are not region specific, but are however directed towards regions with high unemployment. Only regions that are not qualified for support on the basis of objectives 1 and 2 are eligible for support on the basis of objective three. Previously the subsidies under objective one were based solely on the level of regional GDP per capita. Regions were GDP per capita were less than 75 per cent of EU average, measured by PPP-standards, were obliged to this support. Unemployment has been added to as supplementary criteria to allocate the funds. According to Wiese et al (1999) estimates two thirds of the expenditures of this objective goes to Greece, Portugal and Spain. The expenses under objective one covers 60 per cent of all structural subsidies. Germany, France and UK, but also Spain, are main recipients of objective 2 and 3 funds.


Convergence and migration


The main economic effects of EU enlargement have to do with movements in the factors of production and convergence of economies. Experience from previous enlargements, when countries poorer than the average acceded (Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal), shows that membership leads to growth in foreign trade and investments and to accelerated technical progress in the new member states (Baldwin et al, 1997). Closer participation in the international division of labor raises the economic welfare of nations participating in integration. Free movement of the factors of production and freedom of trade lead to gradual convergence. Integration does not only bolster trade but also creates incentives for increased investment in low-income countries and for labor to move to high-income countries.

The result of these changes is economic convergence. This will mean that income and production differentials between the countries of an enlarged EU will narrow, and especially in the new Member States structural change in the economy will accelerate. The greatest benefit from membership accrues to low-income applicant countries. Although the old Member States have to foot the bill for income transfers to the new Member States, they are also likely to benefit in this process; trade increases, the division of labor intensifies, and markets expand. It is also likely that in the old high-income Member States low-wage sectors will be exposed to greater competition and wage differences will grow as a result of movements in the factors of production. For the old Member States, however, the changes will be slight. Experience from earlier enlargements of the EU show that the adjustment processes have not been easy to new member countries. In most cases unemployment has increased significantly in the candidate countries. Unemployment has usually started to rise at the same time when the countries have applied for the EU membership (and started to reform their economies in order to adapt them to membership). The period of increased unemployment has lasted for several years. That happened in Ireland in the 1970s, in Spain (and to lesser extent in Greece and Portugal) in the 1980s and in Finland and Sweden in the 1990s.

The population of the current EU is around 375 million and the labour force 175 million. The total population of the candidate countries is around 104 million and the labour force of 53 million (including Bulgaria and Romania). There are currently around 12 million foreigners living in the EU, with around 5.3 million foreign employees in the workforce (EUROSTAT, 2000). Of this population, around 800,000 persons are from the present candidate countries. Of these, around 300,000 are legally employed in the EU area. According to the Commission’s (2001) report, total annual immigration to the EU area in recent years has been around 800,000 and there have been around 300,000 asylum-seekers. Boeri and Brücker (2000) have estimated that at the first years, following the enlargement, the total migration from the new to old member countries can be around 350 thousand peoples per year. This figure will decline within 10 years to less than half of this and become negligible in twenty years. Compared to the current population flow from non-EU countries, the immigration caused by EU enlargement cannot be considered dramatic. The total flows would be small. However, if the migration concentrates to only few regions, it will have larger local effects.

The countries neighboring the accession countries are the most likely target countries.




































VIII. PUBLIC OPINION REGARDING THE ENLARGEMENT


The latest candidate Countries Euro barometer survey, was carried out in March-April 2002, in all the 13 countries applying for EU membership.

These highlights present the level of support for EU membership and the perceived benefit from EU membership. They also report on voting preferences if a referendum would be held about joining the European Union in each candidate country.

6 in ten people in the candidate countries support their country’s membership to the EU. This figure reflects a stability (+1 percentage point) compared to the previous CCEB, carried out in October 2001. The levels of support range from 77% in Romania to 32% in Latvia.

At the same time, the proportion of people who see their country's future

membership as a bad thing - that has been consistently low over the past years –

has slowly increased, and now stands at 14% (+4 since Autumn 2001).

Opposition to EU membership ranges from 3% in Romania to 24% in Malta and Latvia.

Support for membership is slightly lower in the 10 countries (Laeken-10 group) that should join the European Union as soon as 2004 , and stands at 52%, which is 8 percentage points less than the candidate countries average.

However, the support for future membership in the candidate countries (60%) is higher than the support measured among current members (53%) . The

average support levels of the Laeken-10 group are somewhat lower than the EU

average.



The graph above shows that almost 8 in 10 people in Romania (77%) support their country’s future membership of the European Union. In Hungary (65%), Turkey

(65%), Bulgaria (64%), and Slovakia (61%) more than 6 in 10 people support their

country’s membership. (Hungary shows the highest levels of support in the Laeken-

10 group).

The trend analyses show an increase in support levels since Autumn 2001 in Turkey (+6), and Hungary (+6). Though the level of outright support has not changed

significantly in Malta, people are now less likely to see their country’s membership

as a bad thing (-7).

In Bulgaria (-10), the Czech Republic (-3), and Romania (-3) we find a lower

percentage of people viewing their country’s future membership as a good thing. At

the same time, in several countries the proportion of those who regard their

country’s approaching European Union membership negatively has risen. These

countries are Poland (+11), Latvia (+7), Slovenia (+6), Estonia (+6), the Czech

Republic (+5), and Turkey (+3).

No significant changes in support have been recorded in Cyprus, Lithuania, and Slovakia.

Nearly two-thirds of citizens of the candidate countries (64%) feel that their country would benefit from EU membership, while exactly 1 in 5 people hold the opposite view (20%). At the CC13 level, a decrease of one percentage point has

been recorded since Autumn 2001.



More than 7 in 10 people in Romania (76%), Hungary (73%), and Turkey (71%)now feel their country would benefit. In Cyprus as well, nearly 7 in 10 people feel their country could benefit from membership (69%), followed by Bulgaria (66%).

In Lithuania (48%), Malta (46%), Estonia (43%), the Czech Republic (43%), and Latvia (39%) less than half of the people are optimistic, but only in Latvia are those who feel that their country will definitely not benefit in the majority.

The proportion of people that lack an opinion ranges from 7% in Turkey to a significant 34% in Lithuania and the Czech Republic.



Among the 13 candidate countries, the expected benefit has improved only in

Cyprus since the autumn of 2001 (+5). In most countries, we could not detect and significant change, but figures have declined in five of the thirteen candidate

countries: the Czech Republic (-10), Latvia (-8), Bulgaria (-7), Lithuania (-5), and

Romania (-4). Three countries stand out as those where negative opinions have

increased since the last measurement; in Latvia, the skepticism regarding the

benefits of the coming EU accession has risen by 10 percentage points. We

observed similar tendencies to a smaller extent in Slovenia (+6), Poland (+4), as

well as in Turkey (+3), and Bulgaria (+3).


PEOPLE IN THE CANDIDATE COUNTRIES WOULD VOTE YES IN A REFERENDUM

ABOUT EU MEMBERSHIP


Respondents were also asked about a slightly different measure of support:


If there were to be a referendum tomorrow on the question of

(country)’s membership of the European Union, would you

personally vote for or against it?


This question cannot be considered a real predictor of the outcome of a referendum that would be held. It is used here more as an attitudinal rather than a behavioral measure of support.

On the average, as of April 2002, a convincing majority, two thirds (66%) of the respondents declared that they would support their country's membership to

the EU if a referendum were to be held on this issue. Eighteen percent would cast a

vote against membership, 7% would not vote, and a further 9% could not decide

how they would vote.





More than 8 in 10 people in Romania (85%) would vote for their country’s EU

membership if a referendum were to be held on this issue. Among the Laeken-10

countries Hungary stands out again, with three-quarters (74%) of its citizens saying

they would vote for their country’s membership.

Hungary is followed by Bulgaria (73%), Turkey (70%), Slovakia (69%), and Cyprus (65%), where pro-EU voters account for more than two-thirds of the population. In Slovenia (56%), Poland (53%), the Czech Republic (51%), and Lithuania (50%) only a slim majority claimed they would support their country’s membership on a referendum. In contrast, only 44% of Estonians, and 42% of Latvians and Maltese would vote for their country’s membership.

The ratio of pro-voters in the total population increased the most in Estonia over the past six months (+5), followed by Slovakia (+4), and Hungary (+3). At the same time, we detected a decrease of support in Bulgaria (-7), Latvia (-5), and the Czech Republic (-3). In Latvia, the proportion of those who say they would vote against the EU membership of their country has risen over the past six months (+6).

Further analyses show that at the time of the survey the majority of eligible respondents in all 13 countries would have voted in favor of joining the EU (78%) and the similar proportion is nearly as high in the Laeken-10 group as well (74%). There are, however, two countries without a large majority in favor of

accession: Malta, where only 55% of eligible respondents indicate that they would

have voted in favor of EU membership (which is an increase of 2 percentage points

from Autumn 2001), and Latvia, with 52% of pro-voters among eligible

respondents. Six months ago, 59% of eligible Latvian respondents supported their

country’s accession to the EU, which means a drop of 7 percentage points in support

over the past half year.







In contrast, nearly every eligible respondent would vote for membership

in Romania (96%), Hungary (93%), and Bulgaria (91%). Slovak voters (88%) are also extraordinarily supportive of membership in this question. More than 7 in 10 voters would approve membership in Cyprus (78%), Turkey (75%), Lithuania (75%), and the Czech Republic (72%). Poles and Slovenes are a bit more divided on this issue.

































IX CASE STUDY: ROMANIA



EU-ROMANIA RELATIONS

Romania is the first country of Central and Eastern Europe to have official relations with the European Community: An agreement including Romania in the community’s Generalized System of Preferences in 1974 and an Agreement on Industrial Products in 1980 are signed.

Romania’s diplomatic relations with the European Union date from 1990.

Following Romania’s return to democracy, a Trade and Co-operation Agreement is signed 1991. The Europe Agreement enters into force on February 1, 1995, trade provisions having entered into force in 1993 through an 'Interim Agreement'.

Romania submits its application for EU membership on June 22, 1995.

In July 1997, the Commission publishes an 'Opinion on Romania’s Application for Membership of the European Union'. In the following year, a Regular Report on Romania’s Progress Towards Accession' is produced. In its second 'Regular Report' on Romania published in October 1999, the Commission recommends starting the accession negotiations with Romania conditional, among others, on the improvement of the situation of children in institutional care and the drafting of a medium-term economic strategy.

Following the European Council’s decision in December 1999’s Helsinki summit, EU accession negotiations are started with Romania on February 15, 2000 (negotiations are also started with Malta, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria).

At the end of 2001, accession negotiations on nine (Company law (5), Fisheries (8), Statistics (12), SMEs (16),Science and research (17),Education and training (18), Consumers and health protection (23), External relations (26) and CFSP (27)) of the 31 acquis chapters are already provisionally closed; negotiations on eight of them are being processed

Romania’s aim is to gain EU membership in 2007.


EU-ROMANIA TRADE

The development of foreign trade in Romania is illustrated in the following figure. In 2000, exports totalled €11.4 billion while imports amounted to €14.4 billion. Compared with the previous year’s performance, Romanian levels of trade grew considerably in 2000 (exports: 41.1%; imports: 43.7%). This surge in trade is all the more remarkable when one considers the fact that Romanian exports fell by 5.2% in 1999 and the growth in imports had historically been slow.







Italy: 35.8% of Romanian exports to the EU
Germany: 23.1%
France: 11.6%

Romania imports from EU

Italy: 33.8%
Germany: 29.2%
France: 10.4%

Most important imports from Romania

Textiles: 37%
Machinery: 16%
Foot wear: 12%

Most important exports to Romania

Machinery: 27%
Textiles: 25 %
Transport: 8%
Chemical products: 8%


PRE-ACCESSION AID

Overview

From 2000 onwards, the EU’s pre-accession aid to Romania is provided by three main instruments:

  • the Phare Programme, providing funding for institution-building and investment in support of EU accession preparations;
  • ISPA (the pre-accession instrument providing investments in transport and environmental infrastructure); and
  • SAPARD (the financial instrument supporting agriculture and rural development).

The total volume of pre-accession assistance available to Romania is substantial (at least €630 million per year in total from the three instruments). This represents a very important financial resource for Romania, equal to around 6% of the annual consolidated Romanian national budget revenues, and up to 25% of investment expenditure under the national budget.


Phare

The Phare programme allocated €1.45 billion to Romania during the period 1990-2000, and a further €298.7 million was allocated under the Phare 2001. The total allocation for 2002 is expected to be €242 million. In addition, up to €36.5 million of additional funds may be made available to support enhanced institutional building actions, on the basis of an adequate strategy and corresponding projects to be submitted by Romania.

The Annual Phare National Programmes for Romania since 2000 deal with a wide range of areas of activity under four main priorities derived from the Copenhagen criteria:

  • strengthening democracy and the rule of law;
  • strengthening the capacity to withstand the competitive pressures of the internal market;
  • meeting the obligations of the acquis; and
  • economic and social cohesion.

Around 30% of the Phare allocation is used for 'institution-building', including twinning projects that are implemented by Member State institutions. The remaining 70% is used for financing investments.

For 2000 and subsequent years, the overall allocation to Romania also includes €13 million for cross-border co-operation (CBC) projects with Bulgaria and Hungary. Continued financing of the costs of Romania’s participation in Community programmes is also envisaged as an important component of the annual Phare programmes for Romania.

Romania also benefits from Phare funded multi-country and horizontal programmes such as TAIEX (technical assistance on the approximation of EU legislation), the Access Programme for Civil Society and the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises facility.


ISPA

The annual allocation to Romania under ISPA is between €208-270 million for the period 2000-2006. The sectors benefiting from ISPA are transport and the environment, with both sectors receiving around half of the annual allocation.

The ISPA programme is designed principally to support municipalities in the field of the environment and the central authorities in the field of transport.

In order to bring Romania up to EU standards, ISPA will concentrate on the ‘heavy investment’ directives (mainly drinking water, treatment of wastewater, solid-waste management and air pollution). An overall ISPA strategy in the field of the environment was adopted in 2000 by Romania and the Commission and is currently being revised.

Since the beginning of 2000, eleven projects have been approved, accounting for a total ISPA allocation of more than €300 million (multi-annual commitments) in the areas of sewerage networks, drinking water treatment and waste management.

In the transport sector ISPA will concentrate on projects located on the Trans-European Networks (TENs) in the field of railways, roads, ports and airports. An overall ISPA strategy in the field of transport was adopted by Romania and the Commission in early 2000, focusing on the upgrading of Corridors IV and IX for both road and rail.

Since the beginning of 2000, six projects have been approved, accounting for a total ISPA allocation of more than €500 million (multi-annual commitments).


SAPARD

The annual allocation to Romania under SAPARD is €153 million for the period 2000 – 2006. The Commission adopted Romania's National Plan for Rural Development on the 22nd of November 2000. This plan will provide the framework for SAPARD implementation in Romania and identifies four main themes of intervention:

  • improving the competitiveness of food processing;
  • rural infrastructure;
  • development and diversification of the rural economy; and
  • development of human resources.

A SAPARD Agency subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture has been set up and will be responsible for both operational implementation and the financial management of the programme.



Other Sources of EU Funding

The other EU institution that is actively involved in Romania is the European Investment Bank which provides large-scale loans to projects aimed at helping the transition to a market-based economy and meeting the acquis. EIB action is co-ordinated with the PHARE programme, as well as with EU Member States' financing institutions and with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Since 1990, the EIB has granted loans to the value of €1.45 billion. Three quarters of this funding has been for investments in the transport sector.

ANNUAL REPORT

Context of the 2001 Regular Report

RELATIONS BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ROMANIA

  • The Preparation of the Accession Negotiations

Until 31 December 2000, Romania has submitted to the EU Council, during the Intergovernmental Conferences on Accession, the position papers for thirteen negotiation chapters. Therefore, in 2000, 9 chapters were opened and six were provisionally closed (Ch. 12 – Statistics, Ch. – 16 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Ch. – 17 Science and Research, Ch. – 18 Education, Training and Youth, Ch. – 26 External Relations and Ch. – 27 Common Foreign and Security Policy).

The new Government of Romania took the necessary administrative and legislative measures to strengthen the management and to improve coordination of the preparation for Romania’s accession to the European Union.

In this respect, GD No. 273/2001 (OJ No. 120/09.03.2001) established the National Delegation for Accession Negotiation of Romania to the European Union, led by a minister – delegate, chief negotiator with the EU. The National Delegation comprises several sectoral delegations related to each negotiation chapter, consisting of representatives of the ministries and the other central public administration institutions responsible for the respective chapters of the acquis.

The national delegation prepares negotiations in accordance with the methodology of drawing up position papers for the negotiation process pertaining to Romania’s joining the EU. The methodology was approved by the Government of Romania in its meeting of 8 February 2001.

From the perspective of the evolutions from the beginning of 2001, Romania has added new dimensions to the preparation of the position papers and the negotiation process:

Permanent technical consultations with the European Commission, before presenting the position paper for the respective chapter (in order to facilitate and increase negotiation effectiveness.

Opinion exchange at Chief Negotiator level and between negotiation teams of applicant countries (meetings have already been held with the representatives of Poland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic).

Opinion exchange at negotiator level with EU Member States (meetings have already been held with the representatives of Germany, Spain, Belgium) Domestic consultation involving trade unions, employers, political parties, the civil society and other representative organisations, along with parliamentary inter-ministerial workgroups. As a result of the measures taken, the speed and the quality of negotiation preparation increased considerably. Therefore, between January – June 2001, 12 new position papers have been prepared and submitted to the EU Council:

Position papers for four new chapters:

Ch. 4   Free Movement of Capital

Ch. 8   Fisheries

Ch. 13 Social and employment policy

Ch. 14 Energy

Revised position papers for three chapters:

Ch. 8   Fisheries

Ch. 9   Transport

Ch.19 Telecommunications and Information Technology

Complementary position papers for five chapters:

Ch. 5   Company Law

Ch. 6   Competition Policy

Ch. 8   Fisheries

Ch. 20 Culture and Audio Visual Policy

Ch. 25 Customs Union

During the Intergovernmental Conferences on Accession of March, May and June 2001, negotiations were opened for five new chapters:

Ch. 4   Free movement of capital

Ch. 5   Company Law

Ch. 8   Fisheries

Ch. 9   Transport

Ch. 25 Customs Union

Briefly, a total of 14 chapters were opened for negotiations during 2000 and the first semester of 2001, 7 of which are provisionally closed.

All chapters on the Swedish Presidency agenda were opened, with the exception of Chapter 23 – Consumers and Health Protection, for which the position paper was submitted to the EU Council from 24November 2000, and subsequently, on 1 June 2001, a letter was sent to the EU Council, in which Romania renounced the technical arrangement regarding the implementation of Article 9 B of Directive 85/374/EEC.

The National Delegation for Accession Negotiation is now preparing position papers for 7 more negotiation chapters according to the following schedule:

  • 4 position papers will be officially submitted towards the end of July in order to be included in the Belgian Presidency agenda (Ch. 1 – Free Movement of Goods, Ch. 10 – Taxation, Ch. 15 – Industrial Policy and Ch. 28 – Financial Control);
  • 3 position papers will be submitted to the EU during September – October (Ch. 4 – Free movement of Services, Ch. 11 – Economic and Monetary Union and Ch. 24 – Justice and Home Affairs).

The preliminary draft position paper for Ch. 22 – Environment was finalised and submitted to the European Commission for consultation at the beginning of June 2001.

Similarly, preparation for a preliminary draft position paper started for Ch. 7 – Agriculture and Ch. 21 – Regional Policy and Coordination of structural instruments.

In order to accelerate the pace of closing chapters under negotiation, several complementary position papers are under preparation so that supplementary information and clarifications can be submitted to the Conference on Accession requested by the European Union in the common position. As a result, the complementary position papers for Ch. 4 – Free Movement of Capital and Ch. 9 – Transport will be submitted to the European Union by the end of July. Consequently, Romania will be prepared to open 10 more chapters by the end of this year.

During the first part of 2002 Romania will be able to forward the position papers for the remaining negotiation chapters, thus fully meeting the road map proposed in the Enlargement Strategy Paper of the European Commission in November 2000.

It can be stated that the current progress registered in the negotiation preparation and the objective of opening all chapters by end of 2002 at the latest can create the prerequisites for the provisional closing of all chapters by the end of 2004.

Latest developments in bilateral relations

  • Political Dialogue

The political dialogue between Romania and European Union, both in bilateral context of the European Agreement and within the multilateral framework has offered real opportunities for a substantial strengthening of the relations between Romania and European Union.

The political dialogue between Romania and European Union has acquired additional value in the period of reference. This dialogue has strengthened at the level of senior officials and the shaping up of a dialogue with the EU in the “15+15” format on ESDP issues. Romania answered positively to all invitations of association with the EU joint declarations and approaches. Romania aligned its position with EU joint positions and proceeded to the implementation of joint actions adopted during this period. The communication and exchange of information has improved due to the ACN system.

The seminar of political directors and European correspondents in Bratislava proved to be an innovative approach that ensures a meaningful dialogue on issues of common interest on a wide range of CFSP issues. The works of this seminar will continue on a regular basis.

In December 2000, the National Agency for the Control of Strategic Exports and the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (ANCESIAC) became a body subordinated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This measure will contribute to better comply with international commitments in the field of export and import control of double used products, including the approximation of the arms export policy with the one of the European Union.

As Chair-in-Office of OSCE, Romania estimates that it will have a good cooperation with the EU Council Presidency, with the EU Council and the European Commission in a wide range of topics, mainly on the developments in Russia, in the Republic of Moldova, in Ukraine, West Balkans, the conflicts in Central Asia and in the Caucasus areas and concerning the civil capacities for crisis management. In the field of Common European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), at the pledge Conference of 21-22 November 2000 Romania announced its offer for the additional forces to the European Rapid Reaction Force. On 14 March 2001, Romania held the first bilateral meeting with the EU for consultations on the national contribution. Romania considers that the framework for dialogue in the “15+15” format adopted by the European Council in Nice in December 2000 represents a good basis for consolidating its relations with the EU in this area.

Romania is permanently involved in the dialogue with EU Member States, both at political and at experts’ level, especially in the dialogue focusing on the activity of accession preparation.

Implementation of the Europe Agreement

The relations between Romania and the European Union develop under very good conditions within the Europe Agreement using the instruments of the pre-accession enhanced strategy launched by Agenda 2000 and confirmed by the European Council in Luxembourg.

The transposition of the Europe Agreement in the context of the Accession Partnership, the modality of carrying on the activity of preparation for accession and the drafting of position documents in view of the negotiations confirm the dynamic and evolutionary character of the accession process.

In this context, the Europe Agreement continues to be a basic instrument for preparing the Romanian economy for the accession, this instrument permitting also the connection of the economic sectors to the functioning rules of the single market.

As a result of the EA application regarding the establishment of the free trade area between Romania and EU, the volume of the bilateral trade exchanges has increased 3.4 times in the period between 1992 (the year preceding the implementation of the EA) and 2000. The volume of exports went up 4.3 times and the imports 2.9 times. EU strengthened its position of main trading partner of Romania and its share in the Romanian foreign trade increased from 38.8% (35.2% in exports and 41.3% in imports) in 1992 to 59.8% (63.8% in exports and 56.6% in imports) in 2000.

This evolution proves that the Europe Agreement fulfilled very well its role of “trade creator”. The trade concessions agreed contributed to a large extent to the consolidation of the economic relations between Romania and EU proving the high integration degree of the Romanian economy within the EU market.

As regard the bilateral trade relations, in order to gradually align Romania with the demands of the single market, the trade negotiations (by virtue of Article. 24.1 of the Europe Agreement) between Romania and European Commission for new tariff concessions in the field of bilateral trade with agricultural basic products (negotiations in accordance with Article 24.1 of the EU Agreement) were finalised at the end of May 2000 and wine and spirits negotiations were concluded in October 2000 and starting with 1st January 2001 respectively. In the same context, in April 2001 negotiations with European Commission were initiated for new tariff concessions in the field of the trade with fish and fisheries.

Moreover, the functioning of the Association Agreement allowed for the reorientation of Romanian exports of industrial products to the European Union with a positive impact on the development and modernisation of the economy and creating the prerequisites for the preparation to cope with competitive forces on the European market.

Transition to the second stage of implementation of the Europe Agreement

According to the provisions of the Europe Agreement, the European Commission and the Romanian authorities have proceeded to an exchange of points of view, Romania having the obligation to demonstrate the accomplishment of some of the obligation assumed by the agreement in the following fields: free movement of persons, right to exercise regulated professions, right of establishment of the banking companies and financial services companies and free movement of capitals.

Concerning the right of establishment of the banking and financial services companies in Romania, we consider that the provisions of the laws and implementing regulations do not introduce a less favourable treatment for foreign companies as compared to Romanian companies.

The point of view of Romania with regard to the right of establishment of natural persons in order to pursue economic activities as self-employed persons has to be evaluated in the perspective of the existence of mutual obligations for all parties involved in the European Agreement, as well as in the larger context of alleviating the travel constraints for Romanian citizens.

Non-reimbursable Pre-accession Financial Assistance (Phare, twinning, Community programmes, ISPA and SAPARD)

Until now, Romania has developed the legal framework as well as all the administrative and budgetary structures needed for the co-ordination and implementation of the European Union programmes.

Thus, in accordance with GD No. 14/2001 and taking into consideration the requirements of the European Commission concerning the existence of a sole counterpart represented by the National Aid Co-ordinator, the Ministry of European Integration fulfils this role in relation with the European Union regarding the programming of funds and monitoring of the programmes of non-reimbursable financial assistance.

From the technical point of view, the implementation of Phare programmes is carried out at the level of different Romanian administration institutions (Implementing Authorities), through some specialised structures - units belonging to certain directorates within the line ministries - (“Project Implementation Unit” – PIU).

From the financial point of view, the implementation of Phare programmes is accomplished through the Implementing Agencies, that could be, depending on the specific of the programme: the Central Finance and Contracting Unit (CFCU) within the Ministry of Public Finance or other institutions belonging to the Romanian central administration.

Programmes monitoring

In July 2000, the preparation of the monitoring and assessment process was initiated in accordance with the European Commission requirements and also with GD No. 1011/24.12.1999.

The monitoring of the programmes is done effectively beginning with September 2000 through a Joint Monitoring Committee for Phare programmes (JMC) and through 8 Sectoral Monitoring Sub-Committees (SMSC), co-coordinated by the “Directorate for Co-ordination and Monitoring of the Accession Assistance” within the Ministry of European Integration. The representatives of this directorate ensure the secretariat for the above-mentioned structures.



This new monitoring system allows a systematic analysis of the programmes’ implementation stage, noting the possible delays and the disruptions registered in their carrying on, in order take in due time all the corrective measures needed.

Between September 2000 and June 2001 meetings of all Sectoral Monitoring Subcommittees took place, as well as the first meeting of the Joint Monitoring Committee for the Phare programmes (29 January 2001).

Phare 1999

RICOP Programme has in view to provide financial non-reimbursable assistance amounting to EUR 100 million in order to alleviate the social effects of the enterprise restructuring and it is closely related to the implementation of agreements negotiated with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The Restructuring Plan of the RICOP Programmes includes 69 state-owned enterprises with financial-economic difficulties (5 so-called RICOP areas). Regarding the fulfilment of conditions, the situation as of end of May 2001 is as follows: out of the 60 enterprises within the Authority for Privatisation and Management of State Shareholding (APAPS) portfolio 17 enterprises have been privatised, 29 have their restructuring programmes approved, the implementation of the envisaged measures being in progress, and for 14 enterprises specific restructuring programmes are under analysis for further approval. Out of the 43 remaining enterprises to be privatised, 34 are included in the PSAL programme. During 31.05.1999 – 30.04.200, as a result of the privatisation and implementation of the established restructuring programmes, a number of 32,464 employees have been laid-off, and they will be assisted within RICOP components.

Regarding the programme components, tenders have been launched for three components (public works, active employment measures, social impact measures), and the finalisation of the evaluation of projects granted is envisaged for the end of June 2001. Within the first component (redundancy intervention) offices for outplacement services were established in each RICOP region, and for the severance payments a first reimbursement request amounting to MEUR 10.7 was submitted. For SMEs’ financing, the tender for technical assistance for SMEs (Fund Manager) was re-launched, and the contract will be signed in August 2001 The evaluation of the 1148 project proposals received for SME financing is expected to start in September 2001.

After the discussions that took place in June 2001 in Bucharest among the representatives of the Romanian authorities (the Ministry of European Integration, the Ministry of Public Finance and the Authority for Privatisation and Management of State Shareholding), at ministers’ level, and representatives of the European Commission, the preparation of an Addendum of the RICOP Financing Memorandum was agreed; for the extension of the programme deadlines (fulfilment of conditionalities, contracting date and disbursement date) by 12 months. Moreover, the European Commission will monitor very closely the progress in implementing the Restructuring Plan for the remaining companies with a view to respecting the new deadline (March 2002).

Phare 2000

Romania benefits out of 2000 Phare programme from assistance amounting to MEUR 255.8, in the following breakdown:

  • Phare National – MEUR 215.2;
  • Cross border cooperation (Romania-Hungary and Romania-Bulgaria) - MEUR 13;
  • Community programmes - MEUR 27.6;

Out of the 2000 Phare financial package for Romania, the most important budgetary allocation is allotted to Phare National, with the following breakdown on chapters:

  • Political Criteria - Strengthen Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights, Civil Society Development – MEUR 13;
  • Economic Criteria - Strengthen the Capacity to withstand Competitive Pressures - projects: Energy sector liberalisation, Inter-bank payments system, Securities market regulation - MEUR 40.90;
  • Meeting the Obligations of the Acquis - projects: Industrial Policy and Quality Infrastructure, Mutual recognition of qualifications, Public Finance, Agriculture, Environment, Transport, Border Management, Fight against drugs, Support Activities to strengthen the European Integration Process – MEUR 73.12;
  • Economic and Social Cohesion - regional development projects (investment – 75 MEUR; support for the implementation of NDP – MEUR 13) - MEUR 88.

At present, the most of the 2000 Phare programmes are in the preparatory phase for contracting.

Phare 2001

2001 Phare allocation for Romania is over MEUR 250, distributed as follows:

Phare National: approximately MEUR 220;Community Programmes: approximately MEUR 20;Cross Border Cooperation Programmes (Romania - Hungary and Romania - Bulgaria): 13 MEUR. The sectoral structure of 2001 Phare programme is expected to be approved by the European Commission in September 2001 at the latest. The programme, which is foreseen to last for three years, is expected to start effectively at the end of 2001.

The priorities will focus mainly on:

  1. Economic and social cohesion (up to 40 % of the total budget)
  2. Fulfilling the political criteria (civil society development, child protection, protection of the national minorities);
  3. Fulfilling the obligations resulted from the adoption of the acquis (technical assistance, investment in the following areas: telecommunications, customs, transport, agriculture, environment protection, energy, banking sector, social protection, and audio-visual);
  4. Justice and home affairs;
  5. Health.

The general conditions for the participation in each programme, as well as the institutions responsible for their implementation will be stipulated in the 2001 Financing Memorandum, which is to be signed between the Ministry of European Integration and the EC Delegation in Bucharest by the end of the year 2001.

Twinning Programme

Exercise 2000

For the twinning exercise 2000, a better correlation and synchronisation of the twinning programmes with those of classic assistance have been achieved. The number of sectors has been extended and for the next budgetary exercises it is theoretically possible that, gradual, all the priorities included in the Accession Partnership should benefit from this type of assistance. In real terms, the twinning exercise for 2000 included sectors such as: energy, industrial policies, cadastre, finances, agriculture, public administration, environment, justice and home affaires and regional development.

Community programmes

The interest of the Government of Romania to participate in Community programmes has been clearly expressed in 1997 and it has been maintained each time when the reconfirmation of its position was requested.

Romania’s total contribution to Community programmes in 2000 is about MEUR 25.51, participating in 12 programmes.

In 2001, Romania begins the participation in Community programmes in the cultural sector (Culture 2000) and the taxation sector (Fiscalis).

Romania has expressed the interest to participate in the following Community programmes starting with 2002: LEONARDO DA VINCI II, SOCRATES II, PC 5 (EURATOM included), YOUTH, CULTURA 2000, LIFE III, FISCALIS, SAVE, SMEs, Health promotion, Combating Cancer, AIDS prevention, Drug dependence, Equal Opportunities for men and women, ALTENER II, SURE, ETAP, CUSTOMS 2002, Health Monitoring, Pollution-related Diseases, Injury Prevention, DAPHNE, IDA II, e-Content, as well as in The European Agency for Environment.

ISPA Programme

Starting with September 2000 and up to present, Romania has set up the legislative and institutional framework necessary for the co-ordination and implementation of ISPA Programme. Consequently, on 20 October 2000, the Government of Romania and the European Commission signed in Bucharest The Memorandum of Understanding regarding the utilisation of the National Fund for ISPA, adopted by GD No. 1328/2000 (OJ No.705/29.12.2000).

Following the provisions of this document, the Directorate General “National Fund for Pre-accession” within the Ministry of Public Finance becomes the central treasury for the EU non-reimbursable assistance within ISPA Programme.

At the same time, in compliance with the provisions of GD No. 1328/2000, the Prime Minister of Romania has nominated the minister of European integration as National ISPA Co-ordinator and the secretary of state responsible for integration issues within the Ministry of Public Finances as National Authorizing Officer for ISPA. In order to ensure the coordination of ISPA implementing process at a national level, the National ISPA Secretariat was set up within the Ministry of European Integration.

The Authorities responsible with the implementation of ISPA measures have an important role in the overall management of the ISPA Programme, being responsible for tendering, contracting, payments and technical implementation of the projects. These Authorities are Directorate Central Finance and Contracting Unit within the Ministry of Public Finances (for environment measures), National Administration of Roads RA and National Railways Company CFR SA (for transport measures).

With a view to ensuring an efficient monitoring for the implementation of ISPA projects, the European Commission and Romania have agreed to create the ISPA Monitoring Committee, set up through Prime Minister Decision No. 272/2001.

Up to present, by promoting a large number of eligible projects and by signing 14 Financing Memoranda for environment and transport infrastructure, Romania ensures the financial absorption of ISPA funds allocated by the European Union for 2000 and 2001.

SAPARD Programme

In order to set up the rules of administration and financial control, as well as the overall administrative, legislative and technical framework for implementing the SAPARD programme, the Romanian Government and the Commission of the European Communities signed, on 2 February 2001, the Multi-annual Financing Agreement.

In order to commit the funds allocated through SAPARD for 2000, representing 153,214,194 EURO, the Romanian Government and the European Commission signed, on 27 February 2001, the Annual Financing Agreement.

Further to the ratification of both Agreements by the Romanian Parliament, there was adopted Law No.317/18.06.2001 regarding the ratification of the Annual Financing Agreement and the Law for the ratification of the Multi-annual Financing Agreement is to be published in the Romanian Official journal by the end of June.

The body responsible with the technical and financial implementation of the SAPARD Programme is the SAPARD Agency, set up through EO No 142/21 September 2000 (OJ No 471/28.09. 2000), as a public institution with legal status, subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

With a view to ensuring an efficient institutional framework and the co-ordination of the pre-accession financial instruments, the Managing Authority for SAPARD Programme was set up within the Ministry of European Integration, by Government Decision No. 339/2001 (OJ No 161/30.03.2001).

Through Prime Minister Decision No. 271/2001, upon the initiative of the SAPARD Managing Authority, the SAPARD Monitoring Committee was established which will ensure the overall co-ordination of the implementation of this Programme in order to achieve its specific objectives.

CRITERIA FOR MEMBERSHIP

POLITICAL CRITERIA

  • . Democracy and The Rule Of Law

The Parliament

On 26 November 2000, new presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Romania. Mr. Ion Iliescu became the new President of Romania, while the new ruling party is the Social Democratic Party (resulted from the fusion of PDSR and PSDR, on 16 June 2001), which obtained around 37% of the total votes. The new Prime Minister is Mr. Adrian Nastase. The new Government was validated on 28 December 2000.

Compared to the former Parliament, a smaller number of parties are represented in the new Parliament, as a consequence of raising the threshold for entering in the Parliament to 5% for political parties and proportionally higher than 5% in case of political alliances. Today, there are 6 parliamentary groups, including the one of national minorities, other than the Hungarian one.

As far as the activity of the Parliament is concerned, one can notice some improvement in the procedures. The internal regulations of the two Chambers have been amended. The new Parliament has passed most of the Emergency Ordinances that were inherited from the former Government. The few others have been rejected. Some important laws for stimulating the economic recovery have been adopted.

In the past months, one can notice that the Government is less and less promoting Emergency Ordinances and only in special cases. The number of such acts has decreased. A new law regarding the acceleration of legislative procedure has been adopted for certain areas of priority, including legal acts that transpose pieces of the acquis.

The Executive

After the elections in November 2000, a new structure of the Government and its services has been put in place. Today, there are 25 ministries, among which some are entirely new, such as the Ministry of European Integration and the Ministry of Development and Forecast (EO No. 2/2000 - Many of the former governmental agencies have been restructured and integrated in some of the current ministries, thus diminishing the number of governmental structures. The public administration has been downsized by maximum 30%.

The EU accession process is co-ordinated by the Ministry of European Integration. The internal preparations for accession, the financial assistance and the negotiations for accession are co-ordinated by this ministry. In terms of staff and endowment, this ministry is fully operational. In all other ministries, the structure was provided with a department that deals specifically with the EU accession process or European affairs, headed by a State Secretary. The co-ordination exercise is implemented through an Inter-Ministerial Committee, headed by the Minister of European Integration and with the participation of all State Secretaries for European Integration. A new draft Decision of the Government, currently under adoption, will establish a Council for European Integration, at ministerial level and headed by the Prime Minister.

The Council for Economic and Financial Co-ordination (CEFC) was created by GD No. 3/2000 (OJ No. 10/9.01.2001) amended by Decision No. 181/2000, as a separate structure within the General Secretariat of the Government and subordinated directly to the Prime Minister. Its main task was to elaborate governmental policies in the economic and financial fields and to ensure good relations between the Government, the Parliament and the social partners. At present, CEFC is incorporated within the Ministry of Development and Forecast, which inherited both personnel and responsibilities.

Until now, the following steps have been carried out in implementing the Civil Servant’s Statute:

The approval of 80% of the posts in the public administration (administrative and head posts, as well as other specific posts created by regulations), at national and local levels. These approvals provided the framework for employing staff in both administrative and head posts of public administration, thus creating the Civil Servants’ Body of about 120000 persons.

The examinations for filling the head posts in public administration are being conducted according to the legal framework. About 75% of these head posts have been filled after such examinations and tests will be organised for the remaining vacant posts.

Co-operation with public institutions and authorities with the purpose of establishing which are the public posts, providing methodological co-ordination and necessary assistance to the human resources units within their structures.

Ensuring an overview of all posts in the public administration, in accordance with the legal acts that regulate the creation, the organisation and the functioning of the administrative structures, central or local, as well as an overview of all occupied and vacant posts in the administration.

Establishing the standard format for the terms of reference or job description for all public posts and information on public servants, with Phare support, as well as creating a database for public posts that will cover the entire administration and the Civil Servants’ Body.

Ensuring an overview of all public servants that were dismissed for non-imputable reasons.

Centralising, in January each year, of all data received from local and central authorities and institutions on any modifications that occurred in the career of public servants.

Giving a favourable opinion to draft pieces of legislation on the maximum number of functions for each degree (which should be established proportional to the overall number of public servants within one public institution or authority).

The managerial structure of the National Agency for Civil Servants has been improved, aiming at reaching a higher level of efficiency of this Agency with regard to:

  • The quality of its activities;
  • The training of Agency’s staff;
  • The establishment of specialised committees and working groups for implementing these objectives, especially those that concern the legal field.

A new Government decision on accessing the National Agency for Civil Servants was drafted and submitted to the Ministry of Public Administration. New regulations regarding the evaluation of the professional competence of the civil servant, disciplinary commissions and bipartite commissions are under preparation.

The training programme for civil servants on “Preventing and combating discrimination in the relationship citizen – public authority” is about to be finalised, in accordance with the Agency’s duties as defined by GD no. 430/2001 (OJ no. 252/16.05.2001).

The Ministry of Public Administration is drafting a strategy public administration reform, approaching its completion. Given the present realities of the Romanian society, the reform strategy should rely on four basic pillars:

  1. To operate changes in the strategic field, meaning the definition of a clear role of the state as opposed to the one of private organisations;
  2. To operate changes in the legal field, aiming at diminishing the volume of regulations and promoting to a larger extent framework legislation and leaving to implementing authorities greater responsibilities for effective action;
  3. To operate changes in the organisational field, aiming at reducing hierarchies, simplifying procedures and providing more flexibility for actions and providing possibilities for devolving the implementation activities towards bodies that do not belong to the administration;
  4. To operate changes in the cultural area, meaning a change of values and modalities for action of persons elected by scrutiny, of civil servants, of social partners and of citizens.

At central level, this strategy aims at creating a legal framework that will be able to ensure an equal and fair treatment of citizens, to increase the level of transparency in order to enhance the right of citizens to participate in the decision-making process, to promote greater co-ordination and co-operation among governmental agencies and to involve more the citizens in planning and monitoring the activities of the public sector.

At local level, the main goal of this strategy is to create an administration capable of fulfilling its duties so that it would contribute properly to the economic and social development of the respective region.

The National Agency of Civil Servants is permanently monitoring the process of reducing the staff at local and national level. The Agency initiated a process of redistributing the public servants that were laid off as a consequence of the administrative restructuring in places that were still available. The 30% staff reduction in the administration is currently coming to an end.

In order to improve the legal procedures efficiency, Law No. 24/2000 (OJ No. 134/31.03.2000) regarding the norms for legal techniques of drafting new legislation was adopted. These norms define the constituting parts of a legal act, its structure, its form and the means of systemising its contents, as well as the technical procedures for modifying, completing, abrogating, publishing and re-publishing legal acts.

With regard to administrative decentralisation, the Law No. 215/2001 (OJ No. 204/23.04.2001) on local public administration showed already the first positive results in the process of decentralising power towards local authorities. The provisions of the law grant these authorities the right and the effective capacity to solve and to manage public affairs in the general interest of the community. The provisions of this law regard the organisation, the functioning, the competence and responsibilities of the local authority, as well as the management of resources that belong to the respective village, town or district.

According to the Law on Public Administration, representatives of the local authorities have the right to fix and collect local taxes, to draft and to approve the local budget. The budget for 2001 provides financial decentralisation of some important expenditure from the central to local budgets, such as the expenditures for pre-university education, institutionalised children, disabled persons and centres for agricultural consultancy. The amount of decentralised funds from the central budget to local budgets has doubled since 2000.

There is a higher degree of autonomy in establishing and allocating financial resources for local investments and in implementing strategies of economic and social development, as well as for the possibility to associate and commit the local entities in local, regional or cross-border co-operation schemes. For the first time, local authorities have the right to free access to capital markets for contracting loans without governmental collateral and only on the basis of local public and private resources of that local community.

Within the frame of the national economic policy, the communes, towns and counties have the right to attract their own resources, which are managed by the local public administration in accordance to their attributions.

The Judiciary

In the framework of the National Strategy for Information Society, the Ministry of Justice proposed a new global judicial information system. The targets of this program are Ministry of Justice and all courts, prosecutors’ offices, as well as the penitentiary system. A particular attention was given to a better functioning of Ministry of Justice and courts, for solving efficiently the cases. A number of measures have been taken to ensure the technical and material conditions of this activity.

Concerning the implementation of this plan, the main stages were:

  • Acquisition of hardware equipment: 47 servers, 876 workstations and 388 printers;
  • Developing applications: the users from Ministry of Justice and courts can work with more than 20 applications, such as “Legal database, Case Law, Land Property Catalogue and the National Register for Foundations, Associations and Federations, Staff Database”. Personnel from the Ministry of Justice and courts have the possibility to use e-mailing system within the structure (Intranet) and outside (Internet).

The current number of judges is 3541 and the number of offices is 3712. The number of offices established within the structure of the judiciary is 2271 in courts, 969 in benches and 472 in Courts of Appeal. The number of judges effectively employed in these offices is 2149 in courts, 937 in benches and 455 in Courts of Appeal.

On 1 June 2001, in the Supreme Court there were 7 vacancies, form a total of 86 posts of judges.

The current number of vacancies for judges is 171. On 22 January 2000 there was an examination for 80 posts of judges and prosecutors. 1757 persons signed in for the contest, 1683 participated in the examination and 51 passed, out of which 45 opted for posts of judge and 6 for posts of prosecutor.

At the examination for entering the National Institute of Magistrates, on 19 August 2000, for 146 places signed in 4055 candidates, 3843 participated and 146 passed.

The average speed of judiciary proceedings, in 2000:


Civil law


Instance


Total

0-6 months

6-12 years

1-2 years

2-3 years

Over 3 years

Courts

First instance

503026

426438

50718

20445

3058

2367


Benches

First instance

98260

83592

10570

3245

586

267

Appeal

108930

92034

11256

4563

593

484

Last appeal

71226

67164

3545

451

32

34


Courts of Appeal

First instance

7929

7346

463

94

8

18

Appeal

20770

19205

1109

409

42

5

Last appeal

69334

67010

1474

737

56

57

Total


879475

76279

79135

29944

4375

3232




Criminal law


Instance


Total

0-6 months

6-12 months

1-2 years

2-3 years

Over 3 years

Courts

First instance

196533

167916

22333

5240

838

206


Benches

First instance

21592

19231

1887

465

9


Appeal

32281

30441

1663

171

6


Last appeal

21318

20640

643

29

6



Courts of Appeal

First instance

164

160

4




Appeal

7357

7260

84

12

1


Last appeal

19507

19369

128

9

1


Total


298752

26507

26742

5926

891

206


Due to the great number of cases, the average speed in court proceedings at the Justice Supreme Court is one year:

From 35 555 registered cases in 2000, the Justice Supreme Court solved 20 591. On 1 June 2001, 14 964 cases were still unsolved.


The average speed of implementation of final judicial rulings is:

In criminal law 1 - 6 months;

In civil law 3 - 6 months;

In commercial law 2 - 6 months.

There was an improvement of remaining cases:

Instance

1999

2000

Solved

Remaining

Solved

Remaining

Courts

988.977

202.319

1.027.163

182.743

Benches

335.594

71.359

353.605

72.520

Courts of Appeal

109.841

16.578

125.061

14.190

Total

1.434.412

290.256

1.505.829

269.453


The dynamics of medium wages of magistrates:

1999 2000 2001(*)

a) brutto lei 9 200 000 12 046 000 14 700 000

100% 130% 159,8%

b) netto lei 5 849 400 7 493 032 9 103 770

*) estimated

During the year 2000, the Supreme Council of Magistrate applied 7 disciplinary sanctions to judges, for deontology. At this time 8 magistrates are investigated for offences, in 6 cases.



Rate of reversed decisions, for the years 1999 and 2000:


Case


Instance

1999

2000


Civil law

Appeal

Benches

30,7%

24,9%

Court of Appeal

25,9%

28,7%

Last appeal

Benches

64,4%

48,7%

Court of Appeal

19,4%

17,6%


Criminal law

Appeal

Benches

42,2%

38,7%

Court of Appeal

26,7%

25,7%

Last appeal

Benches

36,6%

35,4%

Court of Appeal

21,7%

18,6%


Number of cases sent to be solved per judge in 1999 and 2000:

1999 - 514 cases / judge;

2000 - 511 cases / judge.

Number of cases solved by a judge in 1999 and 2000:

- 428 cases / judge;

– 433 cases / judge.

At the Supreme Court of Justice the average number of cases solved by a judge was 710 in 1999 and 820 in 2000.

The concluding of the judiciary is made monthly, ordinarily ensuring the regularity on the cases solved in first instance and by maintaining the member of the judiciary all-long the trial, for the cases in appeal or final appeal.

Fixing the judicial terms and the judiciary, for the new cases are made by the presidents and the vice-presidents of courts and at the benches and the Court of Appeal, by the presidents of departments.

At the courts with a high number of cases to be solved and at the benches an office-judge is nominate to fix the judicial terms for the cases brought directly by the persons. These terms are settled at the beginning of daily work, by the presidents.

For allocate the cases, in the court, it is consider the requirement of equilibrate the trials, on size and in complexity of the cases, considering also the experience of the judges.

It is ensured a co-ordination between the terms settled for new cases and terms to which files in progress, in the sense that, before starting the trials, the presidents establish also the dates to which the cases might be eventually postponed.

According to article 76 of Law No. 92/1992 for organising the judicial system, republished, modified and completed, the main possibility for recruiting the magistrates is through admission at the National Institute of Magistrates, after an examination, and all other persons fulfilling the requirements stipulated in article 46 from the Law.

Another possibility to become magistrate is through admission at the contest organised for occupying the vacancies of posts of judges and prosecutors offices. According to article 67 paragraph 1 of Law No. 92/1992 for organising the judicial system, republished, modified and completed, in exceptional cases, a person might be appointed, without examination, as a magistrate, as judge at a court, or prosecutor at a prosecutor’s office at a court, provided he/she has a PhD in Law or previously was a magistrate, general inspector, legal adviser, researcher in the Ministry of Justice, teaching staff in judicial high education, researcher at Institute of Judicial Research of Romanian Academy, lawyer and notary, for at least 5 years, as well the legal adviser with a minimum work experience of 10 years. The persons that will become magistrate without examination, according to the article 67 of Law, should fulfil the general requirements of art. 46.

The criteria for career promoting for the magistrates are stipulated in the Law No. 92/1992 for organising the judicial system, republished, modified and completed, as well as in the Regulation on organising and proceeding of the exam for promoting in a vacant position, at an instance, or at the prosecutor’ s office, approved by an order of the Minister of Justice.

The promotion of magistrate in vacancies courts, benches, Courts of Appeal, as well as the confirmation on the post, is done through examination.

Promoting in leading positions is made for 4 years, with the possibility of prolongation, only once.

In promoting to a leading position, the professional skills, as well managerial skills, his/her capacity for organising and decision-making, his/her communicability, his/her tactfulness and impartiality will be taken into account.

The legislative reform has components in view of better functioning of the judiciary within the Civil law and of the completion of the criminal provisions required to prevent and combat violent acts, especially family violence.

Law No. 107/2000 (OJ No. 568/15.11.2000) for modifying and completing some provisions of the Criminal Code, has, as a regulation object, especially criminal responsibility for violent deeds against a person, perpetrated inside the family. Trough the law judiciary authorities had acquire the legally means for combating efficiently violence inside family phenomena. The aim of the regulations is constituted by a more efficient defence, by means of criminal right, of the persons becoming victims of family violence, among these being not only females, but also males, very young and old people, and also disabled persons. Consequently, the new law’s modification and completion of some Criminal Code provisions, is aiming essentially at violent offences in general, providing more severe penalties for hurting deeds or other violent acts, physical injury, bad treatments applied to minors, or exposure to danger of a person who is unable to take care of himself/herself.

The Code on civil procedure has been amended by the EO No. 138/2000 (OJ No. 479/02.10.2000), amended by the EO No. 59/2001 (OJ No. 217/ 27.04.2001). All provisions of this legal act have entered into force on 2 May 2001. Thus, there have been extended the grounds for appeal in cancellation, with a view to increase the role of the judiciary control and the term for appealing in cancellation has been extended to 1 year, necessary to secure a sufficient period of time to use this way of appeal. There also have been improved the rules of elaborating and drafting of certain texts and have been introduced correlation with the law on judicial organisation and other legal acts.

In May 2001 a Commission in charge for drafting a new Criminal Code was set up within the Ministry of Justice. Another group works for modifying the Criminal Procedure Code, to bring it in line with the practice of the Romanian Constitutional Court and of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). As far as Civil Code is concerned, there were drafted the chapters regarding persons, family, belongings, guarantees, extinctive prescription. The chapters on contracts and successions are being drafted.

As concerns the professional training of the magistrates, the National Institute of Magistrates – functioning according to the Law No. 92/1992 as subsequently amended – continued the activity of training of the justice auditors, from 1 November 2000 acquiring the exclusivity for this task.

Since October 2000 till now a number of activities contributed to the improvement of a better understanding of the Community Law. There was edited a manual for preparing the community law and there were organized 11 seminars on community law for 671 judges, 2 seminars for ECHR case law, one for 30 magistrates, one for 100 justice auditors in the same area, and a manual in the field of administrative law and human rights was published. A manual for training judges in the field of industrial property was also published.

Two regional training centres have been set up in Barlad and Sovata for training the already existing magistrates.

The clerk school is functional since December 2000. The deputy director, 2 trainers and 8 auxiliary staff (out of which 3 also serve to INM) have been appointed until June.

In the relations between the Ministry of Justice and INM there were no changes. There are plans to adopt a decision whereby future magistrate have to graduate INM.

In 2000, 109 justice auditors graduated INM and in 2001, out of the 154 justice auditors 90 will graduate and 64 continue their studies, since the period of studies has been prolonged to 2 years. In the year 2001-2002, 200 justice auditors will be trained in this system. 60 persons will graduate the school of clerks in 2001.

In order to improve the understanding of community law, we have acting in 2 directions:community law become a compulsory discipline in the training programme in the INM, in the year 2001-2002 and it is a discipline for final examination.

A network of correspondents has been established, comprising a member of each Court of Appeal, a representative of the Justice Supreme Court and a representative of a Ministry of Justice.

Anti-Corruption Measures

Anti-corruption and Organised Crime Unit is a body, set up on 10.10.2000, within the General Prosecutor Office according the Law No. 78 / 2000 (OJ No. 219/18.05.2000)

Until now, corruption acts have become the responsibility of the Section for Anti-Corruption, Criminology and Criminal Prosecution of the Prosecutor’s Office within the Justice Supreme Court.

Its organisational chart provides a number of 42 posts of prosecutors, among which only 14 are actually filled. Within the Prosecutor’s Offices at the Courts of Appeal there are services for fight against corruption and organised crime, which have 6 posts of prosecutor, most of them being filled. Within the Prosecutor’s Offices at benches, there are similar services, which have 3 posts of prosecutor.

At present, there is a draft Protocol elaborated according to Law No. 78/2000, which will be approved soon and provides the number of experts policemen, other staff which will be employed at Section for fight against corruption and organised crime and in its territorial structures. The prosecutors appointed at this Section and in its territorial structure are selected according to their level expertise, experience and moral profile.

In dealing with the cases, further to Law No. 78/2000, there was a circular directive sent to all territorial structures, which sets out the criteria for determining the material competence. The Prosecutor’s Office at the Justice Supreme Court approved the orders on managing the files in the Section, so that in each moment the cases are correctly recorded and the operative control is regularly done.

During the year 2000, the number of the cases sent for one prosecutor in the section for fight against corruption and organised crime was around 40.

Between 10 October 2000 and 1 June 2001, the Section has received a number of 299 criminal files, out of which 185 were solved.

In 34 criminal files 74 persons were sent to trial, and 46 were sent to trial in a state of preventive arrest. It should be noted that most of the legal indictments were made between March-May 2001, when 31 persons were sent to trial in 21criminal files.

At present there are 6 criminal cases involving 8 magistrates.

As far as the implementation of harmonised legislation is concerned, between October 2000 and March 2001 a number of 159 persons (7 in the public sector and the rest public servants) were sentenced definitively for corruption acts (bribery, traffic of influence, receiving of undeserved goods).

By 1st of March 2001, by Order of Minister of Interior, the General Directorate for Combating Organised Crime has transformed in General Directorate for Combating Organised Crime and Anti-drugs, within the General Inspectorate of Police.

For facing efficiently the threats of organised crime against our society, General Directorate for Combating Organised Crime is organised, in two Brigades, the Brigade for Combating Organised Crime, with services dealing with forgeries, trafficking with strategic materials, international trafficking of stolen cars, human beings trafficking, and an Anti-drug Brigade.

Also at territorial level, similar services has been set up in 15 Regional Centres, which work based on the principles of territorial competence of Appeal Courts.

This measure was taken due to proliferation of organised crime phenomenon.

Fighting corruption and achieving professional tasks, which are among the priorities set up by Romanian Government, were seriously approached by Ministry of Interior. During the first four months of this year, 81 employees have been investigated and disciplinary measures have been taken. Also, 2200 employees have been punished for lacking in their activities and 110 senior officers have been replaced from their positions in the leadership of the Ministry of Interior.

The measures for combating corruption adopted so far by Romanian authorities have been completed by the adoption of normative acts, which contribute to combating corruption, which prevents fair competition and undermines the principles of free and open markets, especially the well functioning of the internal market.

The Romanian Government adopted the EO No. 60/2001 (OJ No. 241/11.05.2001) regarding public acquisitions and GD No. 461/2001 (OJ No. 268/24.05.2001) for the approval of norms of application of the EO No. 60/2001 regarding public acquisitions.

According to these normative acts, illegal acts or decisions which deny the provisions regarding the attribution of the public acquisition contract may be attacked by administrative or legal way, either at the contracting authority, or at the administrative solicitor’s office of the court in whose jurisdiction is the headquarters of the contracting authority. Any natural or legal person having a legitimate interest related to a certain public acquisition contract and which is may be or has been subject to a prejudice, as a direct consequence of an illegal act or decision, has the right to use this means of attack.

The evaluation commission has the obligation to exclude any tender in case it is proved the latter was or is involved in corrupt or fraudulent practices connected to the participation in the procedure for attributing the public acquisition contract.

A Strategy of prevention and combating corruption measures within Ministry of the Interior personnel was drafted. Its objectives are:

  • Knowledge of dimensions and trends of corruption phenomenon within Ministry of the Interior personnel;
  • Achieving an integrated system for fighting corruption at Ministry of the Interior level;
  • Completion of legal framework with provisions allowing stepping up the activity of prevention and combating corruption.

Establishing, jointly with social partners, of the most adequate methods of co-operation aiming to prevent and combat corruption phenomenon.

The police have the competence to exert criminal investigation the cases of crimes that are assimilated or connected to the crimes of corruption stipulated by the Law No. 78/2000. Accordingly to article 213 from Criminal Procedure Code, the police units can pursue primary investigations of the facts of corruption noticed, but they should send their documents to the prosecutor.

During the 5 months of the year 2001 has been solved 2505 cases, 2209 of them being sent to the prosecutor’s office; a number of 4083 persons has been investigated or 4495 crimes of bribery, 2257 crimes of traffic of influence, 370 receiving illegal and 35 crimes stipulated by the Law No 78/2000. From the total number of persons investigated for crimes of corruption, 712 of them were been caught in the act and for 97 of them the prosecutors’ office issued a warrant.

According the Law No. 78/2000, a protocol of co-operation between the General Prosecutor Office and the Ministry of the Interior was drafted. Currently this Protocol is going to be approved by the concerned institutions. The Protocol provides both the concrete modalities of work and the number of experts, policemen that will work within the Anti-corruption and Organised crime Unit.

The situation of International Convention stipulated in the Annual Report 2000: the draft law for the ratification of Council of Europe Convention for money laundering is under finalisation.

In the field of international co-operation, the draft laws for ratifying the Council of Europe for fighting against corruption has been elaborated and now they are for endorsement of the competent institutions.

Romania sent the request for becoming a full rights member of Work Group for Fighting Against Corruption in International Trade Transactions. We are waiting the answer of OECD for ratifying the Convention from these areas.



STAGES OF NEGOTIATIONS

In its 1997 Opinion, the Commission concluded that Romania fulfilled the political criteria. Since then the country has made progress in consolidating and deepening the stability of its institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities. This has been confirmed over the past year. Romania continues to fulfil the Copenhagen political criteria.

The launch of a major programme of administrative reform is an important development and ensuring the successful implementation of these reforms should be considered as a priority. Significant progress was also made with the decision to demilitarise the police. This will increase the public accountability of police officers - although further actions are needed to ensure the proportionality of their actions. New institutional structures have been created for fighting corruption, which remains a cause for very serious concern, but they have yet to have an impact. Romania still needs to improve the decision making and legislative processes. In particular, the Government’s reliance on emergency ordinances should be reduced and parliament’s ability to scrutinise legislation increased. Reform of the judiciary has been limited. A lack of resources means that the judicial system is severely strained and the executive’s involvement in judicial affairs has not been reduced in practice. In order to address these issues, judicial reform should be made a political priority and a comprehensive strategy to improve the functioning of the judicial system should be

drawn up.

Romania continues to respect human rights and freedoms. It has made significant

progress with child protection, reducing the number of children in residential care and

improving actual living conditions. Progress has also been made in promoting equal

opportunities between men and women, with developing structures to reduce trafficking in human beings and with setting up the institutional framework to fight discrimination. The development of a probation system has continued although prison conditions remain extremely poor. Additional steps need to be taken to strengthen safeguards for freedom of expression.

Positive developments took place with regard to the treatment of minorities. Legislation extending the official use of minority languages was implemented relatively smoothly. Important steps were taken to implement the National Strategy for Improving the Condition of Roma, with the aim of effectively combating discrimination and improving living conditions, although additional financial resources will be necessary to make further progress.

Romania has continued to make progress towards being a functioning market economy, for which the prospects have improved. Sustained and full implementation of planned measures together with the completion of the reform agenda should allow Romania to be able to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union in the medium term. Some significant gains on macroeconomic stabilisation have been achieved over the last years. A more appropriate policy-mix is decreasing inflation, while growth has resumed and the external position remains sustainable. Considerable progress has been made on the creation of the necessary market institutions. The ongoing overhaul of the banking sector, the successive improvements in the supervisory and regulatory framework for the financial markets and the advances in privatisation have progressively tightened enterprises financial discipline. Price and trade liberalisation coupled, over the last year, with a significant adjustment of energy tariffs and important reforms of the tax system have set the stage for a more efficient allocation of resources. Restructuring is advancing in a number of sectors.

To build upon this progress, the authorities should give priority to establishing a track record on macroeconomic stabilisation grounded on further disinflation, by maintaining an appropriate policy mix and underpinning it with the enforcement of enterprises financial discipline. Commitments to restrict the total wage bill in the public sector should be respected. The recent sharp growth in money supply and credit requires careful monitoring and a readiness to take prompt actions. Establishing enterprise financial discipline requires improved tax administration and compliance, a consistent and transparent implementation of the latest measures to reduce the arrears of energy users, a determined and transparent use of the recently approved legal provisions for accelerating privatisation, and a readiness to liquidate loss-making enterprises. Completing privatisation in the banking sector, continuing the reform of public expenditures and budgetary procedures, and ensuring the implementation of improved regulatory and legal frameworks would also support the establishment of a functioning market economy and the development of Romania’s capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union.

Since the 1997 Opinion, Romania has made steady progress with the adoption of the acquis. However, in many areas, there has been an increasing gap between progress in legal transposition and the limited ability of the Romanian administration to implement and enforce the newly adopted legislation.

Over the last year, Romania has accelerated the process of legislative transposition and has continued work, albeit at a slower pace, on developing the administrative structures required by the acquis. Overall, and in view of Romania™s target date for accession, Romania™s progress has been reasonable and national legislation has been aligned with the acquis in many areas. Administrative capacity building will require a comprehensive, structural reform of both the public administration and the judicial system.

In the area of the internal market, framework legislation on the New and Global

Approach has allowed accelerated alignment with the sector-specific acquis on free

movement of goods. Considerable progress has also been made in the establishment of

bodies to administer the acquis. Further efforts should concentrate on improving standardisation and certification, on reinforcing market surveillance systems, on re-

structuring the food control system, and on effectively implementing public procurement legislation. The foundations for future progress with the free movement of persons have been laid, although further transposition is necessary to address shortcomings in the area of mutual recognition and administrative capacity should be strengthened in all areas. Considerable efforts have been made to facilitate the free movement of services, although the newly developed institutional framework for supervising financial services still needsto be supported. Liberalisation has continued in the area of free movement of capital and

Romania is committed to a timetable for dismantling exchange controls and other

restrictions on capital movements. Further efforts are particularly needed to revise the

legal framework in the area of money laundering. Romania has aligned with most of the acquis on company law, although the level of piracy and counterfeiting remains a serious problem and enforcement should be improved. In the area of competition policy, some progress has been made with the transposition of the acquis, mainly in the field of anti-trust, but Romania™s enforcement record in respect of both state aid and anti-trust needs to be improved. The restructuring of the steel sector will need to be closely monitored. Romania has made steady progress towards alignment with the taxation acquis although further adjustments are needed and the ability to implement and enforce tax legislation remains limited. Despite a high level of harmonisation with the customs acquis, further legislative alignment is needed, as are efforts to reduce levels of corruption within the customs administration. Work should continue on developing IT systems to allow the exchange of computerised data between Romania and the EC. In order to develop a successful industrial policy and to promote SME development further efforts are needed to simplify and stabilise the business environment.

Alignment with the acquis on agricultural policy has accelerated, although legislative developments have not yet been matched by the development of administrative structures able to effectively implement the acquis. Structural reforms have only been slowly introduced. Inspection arrangements should be improved in the phytosanitary sector and, even more urgently, in the veterinary sector. In the area of fisheries, Romania has adopted the necessary framework legislation, although there have been delays in the establishment of the required administrative structures.

On social policy and employment, some progress has been made but considerable further work remains on legal transposition in the areas of labour law, equal opportunities, and health and safety at work. Progress with regional policy has been slower and Romania does not yet have a clear and consolidated cohesion policy. Work has begun on developing administrative capacity, but continued efforts are needed to design management and implementation systems. Romania’s progress in the transport sector has been mixed: good with regard to road and railway transport, reasonable in the area of aviation, but only limited in the case of maritime safety. The key issues facing Romania are developing institutions able to enforce recently adopted legislation and securing the funding to make the heavy investments required by the acquis. Despite progress in terms of legislative alignment, many structural issues still have to be addressed in the energy sector and new operating structures need to be consolidated. Despite having transposed a considerable amount of environmental legislation, Romania has neither the administrative nor the financial resources to implement it. Future efforts should focus less on legislative alignment and more on developing implementation capacities as well as securing resources for environmental investments. Alignment with the consumer protection acquis has continued and implementation structures are in place - although inter-institutional co- operation should be improved.

Steady progress has been made with aligning with the telecoms acquis and progress has been made with preparing for the liberalisation of the communications and postal markets. Future efforts should focus on developing the newly established regulatoryadministration into a truly efficient and independent body, and on the evaluation of the economic implications of full implementation of the universal service acquis.

Romania has started to make structural reforms in the area of justice and home affairs, although a considerable amount of work remains to be done on legal approximation and above all on strengthening administrative and judicial capacity. Despite recent reforms,including the adoption of a Schengen Action Plan, the efficiency of all police forces is limited and border infrastructure and management need to be improved. Major efforts are required to increase the efficiency of the judiciary.

In the area of external relations, trade barriers have been progressively eliminated, and Romania has achieved a generally high level of alignment with the acquis.

Progress has been made with regard to financial control and modern systems of financial management and control are being introduced. Further work is necessary to protect theCommunities financial interests, administrative capacity needs to be strengthened with regard to public internal financial control, and the independence of the Court of Audit should be guaranteed.

The overall capacity of the public administration to implement the acquis remains

limited and represents a major constraint on Romania™s accession preparations. While certain parts of the administration are able to function effectively there are many important sectors where the weakness of the administration is a serious cause for concern. These concerns extend beyond adoption of the acquis and also apply to the management of EC financial assistance. This issue is beginning to be addressed by the Government which has announced a major reform programme. However, these reforms are only at the design stage and still need to be carried out.

In the accession negotiations, 13 chapters have been provisionally closed. The

commitments made in the negotiations are with a view to accession in 2007 and are

generally being met.

Accession Partnership and Action Plan for strengthening

administrative and judicial capacity: Global assessment

Romania’s progress and overall state of preparation in respect of the Copenhagen criteria has been examined and conclusions drawn above. The present section assesses the extent to which the priorities of the Accession Partnership have been met and the measures foreseen under the Action Plan implemented according to schedule. It should be noted that both the Accession Partnership and the Action Plan have a time perspective of two years covering 2002 and 2003, providing for another 15 months for priorities to be met.

Furthermore, much has already been achieved based on previous Accession Partnerships. The present one focuses on remaining specific and well-circumscribed topics identified as requiring more work to prepare Romania for membership. Therefore the analysis below only focuses on these specific topics and does not give an overall picture of the state of preparation of Romania in each domain.

The purpose of the Accession Partnership is to set out in a single framework:

the priority areas for further work identified in the Commission™s Regular Report;

the financial means available to help candidate countries implement these priorities;

the conditions which will apply to this assistance.

The Accession Partnerships are revised on a regular basis, to take account of progress made, and to allow new priorities to be set. The Council adopted a revised Accession Partnership for Romania in January 2002, based on a proposal from the Commission. The revised Accession Partnership has served as the point of departure for the Commission and Romania to develop jointly an Action Plan to strengthen Romania's administrative and judicial capacity. The purpose of the Action Plan is to identify jointly the next steps required for Romania to achieve an adequate level of administrative and judicial capacity by the time of accession, and ensure that all necessary measures in this regard are taken, providing Romania with targeted assistance in areas that are essential for the functioning of an enlarged Union.

Developing adequate administrative and judicial capacity for EU membership is a

demanding and wide-ranging task, which requires detailed preparations in each and

every domain covered by the Union's policies and legislation. In preparing individual

Action Plans, the Commission has taken a comprehensive approach. All priorities from the revised Accession Partnerships which relate to the development of administrative and judicial capacity have been included in the Action Plans. Each of these priorities is treated separately in the Action Plans, and specific measures have been designed to address each of them.

In the following, progress in addressing each of these priorities is reported. For ease of reference and to avoid repetitions, wording from the Accession Partnerships is rendered in italics. As regards the measures foreseen by the Action Plan, implementation is checked against timetables and reported.

The purpose of the Action Plan is to identify jointly the next steps required for Romania although additional efforts are needed to develop an inclusive educational policy for disabled children. In the absence of such a policy, the closure of special schools has been hampered. Measures have also been taken to support the integration of young people leaving residential care institutions into society. New legislation on international adoption has been prepared and based upon the provisions of the Action Plan, and efforts have been made to develop the administrative capacity that would be required to implement this legislation. While this process has been carried out the moratorium on international adoption has remained in place. In line with the Action Plan, steps have been taken to develop administrative capacity in order to implement the Government Strategy on the improvement of the situation of Roma. The local structures for implementation of the Strategy have been established and measures have been taken to re-enforce the capacity of the national office for Roma. This said, the levels of financial support provided for the Strategy’s implementation have been inadequate and in this respect the Action Plan has not been fully implemented. Romania has adopted a National Strategy on the Improvement of the Situation of Persons with Handicaps. Effective implementation of the strategy will depend upon sufficient budgetary support and developing administrative capacity, both at national and local levels Œ a process that is on-going in line with the measures foreseen in the Action Plan. In accordance with the Action Plan, Romania has established the institutional framework in order to implemen legislation on the prevention and combating of all forms of discrimination. However, the institution concerned (the National Council for Fighting Against Discrimination) is not fully compatible with the acquis.

The Accession Partnership priorities related to the political criteria have been partially met. For those priorities also covered by the Action Plan the actions foreseen in the Action Plan are largely on track.




Economic criteria

Macroeconomic stability has improved noticeably in Romania although progress with the implementation of structural reforms has been slow. The privatisation process has

continued, but only slowly, and the Government has not been able to meet its own

privatisation programme. A variety of measures have been taken to stimulate domestic

and foreign investment, but although Romania witnessed a steady growth in both

domestic and foreign investments, overall levels of investment remain low. Despite a

number of high-profile initiatives, actual progress in simplifying legal and administrative procedures has been limited and the rules governing privatisation and business operation still suffer from instability and a lack of transparency. New bankruptcy procedures were introduced in 2002 but it is not yet possible to assess if the new legislation is being effectively implemented.A revised plan for restructuring the steel sector has been produced and progress has been made with the implementation of restructuring measures. Romania is in the process of developing individual viability plans for steel enterprises. Restructuring of the national air carrier has continued and a cost reduction programme has led to a significant reduction in losses Πalthough additional reforms will be needed to reach a financial equilibrium. The land market in Romania is progressing, although the market in land sale lags behind the rental market.

Efforts have been taken to develop a policy for agricultural land consolidation, and progress with the issuance of land titles is continuing, albeit more slowly than

anticipated. Romania has not yet developed a policy framework for rural credit and rural financial infrastructure compatible with IFI and EC financial support. In line with the provisions set out in the Action Plan, Romania has taken a number of initiatives to support SMEs Πnotably through the implementation of an Action Plan for the Removal of the Administrative Barriers from the Business Environment. Despite these efforts, the overall economic, legal and administrative environment remains difficult. New legislation has attempted to simplify the registration for new companies but there has been no substantial progress with the simplification of enterprise licensing.

The Accession Partnership priorities in this area have only been partially met. TheAction Plan measures are being implemented although additional efforts are needed.

Chapter 1: Free movement of goods

Implementation of the New Approach directives has accelerated considerably over the reporting period. The programme for strengthening the national system for conformit yassessment set out in the Action Plan has begun. New legislation on pharmaceuticals, chemicals, cosmetics, textiles, footwear, legal metrology, and motor vehicles has been passed or is in the process of being drafted. Work on the adoption of EN standards continues as planned. In order to prepare a market surveillance system, an Inter- Ministerial Committee for Market, Products and Services Surveillance and Consumer Protection, a Commission for Unfair Terms, and a Commission for Safety have been created - as mentioned in the Action Plan. In the context of preparing the administration to implement EC principles of food safety, Romania still needs to set up a National Food Authority. Other measures listed in the Action Plan have started as foreseen (work on the provision of information to economic operators in the food industry, the equipment of three reference laboratories and the reinforcement of inter-ministerial co-operation). As foreseen in the Action Plan, training of officials from both central and local government has started in order to ensure an appropriate implementation of the new legislation on public procurement. An inter-ministerial working group has been created to screen legislation in the non-harmonised area but work is still at an early stage. Overall, most of the Accession Partnership priorities in the area of free movement of goods have been met. Implementation of the measures under the Action Plan is largely on track.

Chapter 2: Free movement of persons

No significant progress has yet been made on alignment with the acquis on mutual recognition of professional qualifications. However, the training programme mentioned in the Action Plan to reinforce institutional capacity in the field of recognition of professional qualifications (directives on the general system of recognition and sectoral directives) is being implemented. As mentioned in the Action Plan, Romania is implementing a capacity building programme within the National Health Insurance House and District Health Insurance Houses in order to develop the administrative structures for the co-ordination of social security systems. Overall, the Accession Partnership priorities in the area of free movement for persons have been partially met. Implementation of the measures under the Action Plan is largely on track.

Chapter 3: Freedom to provide services

With regard to aligning with securities markets acquis, a number of major legislative developments have occurred concerning the statute of the Securities Market Commission, undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities, regulated commodities markets, services and derivative financial instruments and securitiesV support SMEs Πnotably through the implementation of an Action Plan for the Removalm of the Administrative Barriers from the Business Environment. Despite these efforts, the overall economic, legal and administrative environment remains difficult. New legislation has attempted to simplify the registration for new companies but there has been no substantial progress with the simplification of enterprise licensing. The Accession Partnership priorities in this area have only been partially met. The Action Plan measures are being implemented although additional efforts are needed. Ability to assume the obligations of membership




Chapter 7: Agriculture

Romania intends to carry out an agricultural census starting at the end of 2002, for which preparations are under way. With conferral of management for the SAPARD Agency approved in July 2002, Romania has taken a step forward in preparing them administrative structures for the design, implementation, management, monitoring, control, and evaluation of EC-funded rural development programmes Πalthough it still has to elaborate a national rural development strategy and will have to earmark financial resources for restructuring the agricultural sector and rural communities. Romania is implementing a programme of institutional reform in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. A programme of administrative strengthening to improve policy formulation and economic analysis is also being carried out, as mentioned in the Action Plan. Although Romania is currently implementing an animal identification programme in line with its calendar for implementation, work on the creation of a General Cadastre and Land Registration system has encountered delays. As mentioned in the Action Plan, training and technical assistance programmes are in place in the various institutions responsible for veterinary, phytosanitary and food safety legislation. Substantial efforts have been made to reform the different veterinary and phytosanitary administrations and their respective laboratory structures. Many of these actions are at an early stage of implementation although overall the priorities are being satisfactorily addressed. Major reforms of veterinary and phytosanitary administrations are being implemented to ensure their capacity to enforce the acquis, including on the testing of animal diseases, and in particular transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The Romanian authorities are also in the process of implementing a strategy to upgrade inspection arrangements, including at future external borders. These programmes are at an early stage of development although they remain in line with the calendar outlined in the Action Plan.

While Romania has adopted a programme to strengthen the administrative capacity to implement the food safety strategy, work is still at an early stage. Romania has encountered delays in the establishment of a vineyard register and control systems in the wine sector - although implementation of a programme of administrative restructuring and reinforcement is under way. The Accession Partnership priorities in the area of agriculture have been partially met. Implementation of the measures under the Action Plan is partially on track.

Chapter 8: Fisheries

Although framework legislation is in place, delays have been encountered in establishing the National Company for the Management of the Fisheries Fund and creating a Fisheries Inspection. Romania has established a compliant fishing register although administrative capacity in this area is still weak. Delays have been encountered in the implementation of the administrative strengthening programmes intended to address fisheries management structures. The Accession Partnership priorities in the area of fisheries have been partially met. Implementation of the measures under the Action Plan is delayed.

Chapter 9: Transport policy

Romania has made progress in legal alignment, but administrative capacity in road transport still has to be strengthened in order to enforce the adopted legislation. In line with the Action Plan, training programmes are being implemented at both managerial and execution level and steps are being taken to strengthen the capacity for roadside inspections. The measures planned to retrofit haulage vehicles with speed limitation devices and recording equipment are ongoing, but monitoring should be reinforced. Although a framework law on maritime and inland transport was adopted, considerable efforts still have to be made to ensure alignment with the acquis. With the Romanian fleet rated as a very high risk in the latest Paris MOU report, the situation remains worrying with regard to implementation of the maritime safety acquis. However, as foreseen in the Action Plan, a new body, the Romanian Naval Authority, has been set up through the merger of the existing bodies, which should avoid duplication and dilution of responsibilities. No progress has been made with restructuring and modernising the Romanian Danube fleet and further efforts are necessary to improve the administrative capacity of the inland waterway sector. In the railway sector, Romania is line with most of the requirements of the revised railways acquis. Romania has partially met the Accession Partnership priorities in this area. The measures set out in the Action Plan are being implemented as planned.

Chapter 10: Taxation

Romanian law has been brought closer to the acquis in the areas of VAT legislation and excise duties although further extensive adjustments are still needed. Romania still has to ensure that existing and future legislation complies with the principles of the Code of Conduct for Business Taxation. As mentioned in the Action Plan, major initiatives have been launched to modernise the tax administration and improve the revenue collection system. The Action Plan also provides details of a programme, that has now been completed, to develop the norms and procedures necessary for the organisation and administration of the Taxpayer Registry. A Tax Administration Strategy was approved in February 2002. The Action Plan is also the basis for an on-going national programme for the improvement of revenue collection, and a programme to improve the form and the content of tax returns and to simplify the declaration procedures is due to be completed at the end of the third quarter of 2002. Work to develop a Code of Ethics by mid-2003 is continuing according to schedule. Initial and continuous training is provided at the School of Public Finance and curricula have been developed which cover the majority of the activities of the tax administration. Romania will need several years before it can develop IT systems for the exchange of electronic data and be in a position to meet the obligations of EU membership. Romania is therefore somewhat behind in this area.

Overall, the Accession Partnership priorities in the area of taxation have been partially met. Implementation of the measures under the Action Plan is largely on track.

Chapter 12: Statistics

A population census was carried out in March 2002, and efforts have been made to strengthen statistical capacities, including at regional level. The regional statistical

offices have been reorganised and concentrated into 8 offices, and training has been given a high priority with the opening of a new training centre for officials as foreseen in the Action Plan. However, total staff numbers have decreased and the lack of adequate resources, particularly human resources, remains a problem. The Accession Partnership priorities in this area have been partially met. Implementation of measures under theAction Plan is largely on track.

Chapter 13: Social Policy and Employment

A national policy for employment has been defined and approved as scheduled in the Action Plan. Preparation for European Social Fund type activities has started and related training is ongoing. Similarly, actions aimed at strengthening the capacity of the devices and recording equipment are ongoing, but monitoring should be reinforced.

Although a framework law on maritime and inland transport was adopted, considerable efforts still have to be made to ensure alignment with the acquis. With the Romanian fleet rated as a very high risk in the latest Paris MOU report, the situation remains worrying with regard to implementation of the maritime safety acquis. However, as foreseen in the Action Plan, a new body, the Romanian Naval Authority, has been set up through the merger of the existing bodies, which should avoid duplication and dilution of responsibilities. No progress has been made with restructuring and modernising the Romanian Danube fleet and further efforts are necessary to improve the administrative capacity of the inland waterway sector. In the railway sector, Romania is line with most of the requirements of the revised railways acquis. Romania has partially met the Accession Partnership priorities in this area. The measures set out in the Action Plan are being implemented as planned.

Chapter 19: Telecommunications and information technology

The adoption of legislation providing the regulatory framework is a major step towards transposition of the acquis on telecommunications, as foreseen in the Action Plan, and should allow Romania to meet its target date for full alignment with the acquis by the end of 2003. As regards postal services, legislation approved in January 2002 creates the general framework for postal service regulation and universal service provision. At the end of May 2002 the Government approved an Emergency Ordinance on the general framework for communications regulation. The legislation creates a national regulatory authority Πthe National Agency for Communications Regulation (ANRC). Romania is also implementing a programme designed to create the required administrative structures and capacity in order to ensure that the ANRC will be operational before the end of 2002, as foreseen in the Action Plan. The Accession Partnership priorities in the area of telecommunications and information technology have been met to large extent. Implementation of the measures under the Action Plan is largely on track.

Chapter 20: Culture and audio-visual policy

A new audio-visual law was approved in order to align legislation with the acquis, and actions were launched to strengthen the capacities of the independent television/radio regulatory authority. In line with the Action Plan, the upgrading of equipment in headquarters and local control offices is taking place as planned. The other planned actions, which include the training of staff, database restructuring, and the setting up of a department for protection of minors are due to start before the end of 2002. The Accession Partnership priorities in this area have been met. Implementation of the measures under the Action Plan is on track.

Chapter 21: Regional policy and co-ordination of structural instruments

The national policy for economic and social cohesion is neither fully defined nor

developed in Romania. Nevertheless, the National Development Plan was regularly

updated and improved. The timetable for the next programming exercise, foreseen in the Action Plan, has been modified due to the importance of the tasks to be achieved for moving towards an operational National Development Plan. As regards the monitoring and evaluation system and the collection of relevant statistical indicators, the measures foreseen in the Action Plan are scheduled for the end of 2003, so no progress can be reported. The strengthening of the institutional and administrative capacity in charge of programming and managing Structural Funds has been partly carried out. A Managing Authority and a Paying Authority have been nominated, but there is not yet a clear division of responsibilities at national and regional level. Some improvement in staff recruiting does not compensate for the lack of career profiles and sufficient training. Inter-ministerial co-operation remains weak and difficult. Preparations to comply with basic financial management and control provisions are on-going. The Accession Partnership priorities in the field of regional policy and co-ordination of structural instruments have been partially met. Implementation of measures under the Action PlanA is lagging behind.

Chapter 22: Environment

Substantial progress has been made with the transposition of the acquis in the sectors of waste management, water quality, industrial pollution control and risk management. However, implementation issues have not been sufficiently taken into account and enforcement is weak. Secondary legislation is needed to complete the implementation of horizontal legislation. The elaboration of directive-specific implementation plans, including financing plans has started but still needs to be completed. There has been no substantial progress in improving capacities for policy preparation and economic analysis at the national level or with developing the enforcement capacity of the Environmental Protection Inspectorates at local level. All entities remain understaffed and most of measures covered by the Action Plan have not yet started. Despite the reactivation of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, there has been no meaningful integration of environmental protection requirements into sectoral policies. The Accession Partnership priorities have not been met. Implementation of the measures contained in the Action Plan is delayed.

Chapter 23: Consumers and health protection

Alignment of legislation has continued, but progress in strengthening market surveillance and enforcement authorities is slow. The implementation of the five-year strategy for the National Authority for Consumer Protection has started as planned. The overall responsibility for a market surveillance system was given to the National Authority for Consumer Protection as laid out in the Action Plan, but the strengthening of its administrative capacity remains to be seen. Further improvement of information technology infrastructure and modernisation of decentralised laboratories have not been addressed yet. Overall, the Accession Partnership priorities have been partially met. The implementation of the measures under the Action Plan is largely on track.

Chapter 24: Co-operation in the field of justice and home affairs

The legislation on the Romanian State Border and on the Organisation and Functioning of the Border Police was adopted. The use of conscripts as border police is being rapidly phased out and the establishment of an Inter-ministerial Group for Integrated Border Management represents a first step towards developing an integrated border management strategy. The establishment of a National Anti-corruption Prosecution Office could help improve the co-ordination between law enforcement bodies from prevention to prosecution as foreseen by the Action Plan. However, the Office is not yet fully operational and Romania cannot be said to be implementing an integrated strategy for the fight against corruption. Due to delays in adopting the appropriate legal framework, Romanin’s participation in EUROPOL is still pending. No progress has been made with developing and implementing a national drugs strategy. Romania has recently started to establish a national focal point for contacts with the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug addiction. Romania ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime in August 2002. The measures contained in the Action Plan to strengthen the administrative capacity of the National Office for Preventing and Fighting Money Laundering Operations are in the process of being implemented. As foreseen in the Action Plan Romania presented a Schengen Action Plan in December 2001. This should be further elaborated in order to cover all areas included in the Schengen Convention. It will be monitored and updated on a yearly basis. Romania has also made progress with alignment of visa legislation and practice but does not yet fully comply with the acquis. Romania has taken a wide range of measures in order to ensure the implementation of Community instruments in the area of judicial co-operation in civil matters. However, Romania still needs to align its legislation with the Convention on the Protection of the Communities' Financial Interests and its Protocols. Overall, the Accession Partnership priorities have been partially met. The implementation of the measures under the Action Plan has started.

Chapter 25: Customs union

Romania has continued efforts to implement the customs ethics policy and at the

beginning of 2002, the Code of Conduct and Discipline for Customs Staff was issued. An Inter-ministerial Group for Integrated Border Management has been set up to ensure communication and efficient co-operation between bodies with border control

responsibilities. Objectives of the Group include reducing waiting times at the border.

The Customs Administration co-operates on a permanent basis with bodies in charge of protecting intellectual and industrial property rights in order to fight cross-border

movement of pirated and counterfeit goods. As set out in the Action Plan, a large number of co-operation protocols have been signed with various agencies, in order to

reinforce administrative and operational capacity in the field of customs enforcement.

Centralised training has been developed and, as stipulated in the Action Plan, a large-

scale training programme is being implemented at both central and regional levels and

covering both initial and in-service training. As regards computerisation, the Romanian customs administration has a clear IT strategy on how to achieve interoperability which it is in the process of implementing, and in accordance with commitments given in the Action Plan, Romania is making a sustained effort to develop IT systems to permit the exchange of computerised data between the EC and Romania. Overall the Accession Partnership priorities in this area have been met to a large extent. Implementation of the measures under the Action Plan is on track.

Chapter 28: Financial control

Romania has prepared and adopted a Policy Paper on Public Internal Financial Control covering managerial responsibility in budget spending centres, ex-ante controls performed by Ministry of Finance delegated financial controllers, and development of functionally independent internal audit structures. The Action Plan identified the need for significant further efforts to define the organisational and human resource needs for effective implementation of public internal financial control in all budgetary spending centres in accordance with the requirements of the Policy Paper. These efforts have been initiated, but substantial further work is needed. Efforts are continuing to strengthen and modernise external audit procedures at the Romanian Court of Accounts in line with international standards and best practise. As regards protection of Community financial interests, an anti-fraud co-ordination service has been designated, and the further development of the legislative and administrative framework is underway, including the reinforcement of inter-institutional co-operation. While the accreditation of the SAPARD Agency represents progress as regards the correct use and financial control of EC pre-accession funds, significant further efforts will be needed to allow the introduction of extended decentralisation of the ISPA and Phare programmes. The Accession Partnership priorities have been partially met. The implementation of the measures under the Action Plan is slightly delayed.


NATIONAL PROGRAM FOR LEGISLATIVE APPROXIMATION

WITH EUROPEAN UNION’S REGULATIONS

The National Program for Accession of Romania to the European Union includes a legislative approximation program for the period 2002 – 2005. This program contains clear responsibilities, is divided on the acquis chapters and is updated on an annual basis.

In order to remove the possible shortcomings that might appear in achieving of this program, the Ministry of European Integration will, on a weekly basis, monitor and inform the Government about the stage of the above-mentioned program.

In this context, during 2001, major progress has been achieved as regards legislative approximation in the following areas: free movement of goods, company law, transports, consumer and health protection, justice and home affairs, customs union.

The progress achieved in the field of the harmonization of the Romanian legislation with the Community’s one, registered in 2001, is presented in Annex I

According to the Government Decision no. 1075/2001, the Ministry of European Integration gives legal opinion to all legal drafts that transpose Community provisions. This is a mandatory opinion that has to be given before the Government approves such legal drafts. It is worth mentioning that two legislative harmonization directorates have been created within the ministry to this end.

The Working Methodology for endorsement of the EU relevant draft legislation by the Ministry of European Integration is presented in Annex II

During 2001, Romania has substantially accelerated the legislative approximation process, thus a number of 310 EU relevant normative acts being adopted, of which 235 directly transpose the acquis provisions.

The list of legal acts having EU relevance, adopted in 2001, is presented in Annex III.

Until the end of September this year, a number of 293 EU relevant normative acts have been adopted, of which 220 directly transpose the acquis provisions.

  The list of legal acts having EU relevance, adopted from the 1st of January until the 30th of September 2002, is presented in  Annex IV.

 In the first nine months of 2002 important progress has been achieved in transposing the Community legislation, especially in the fields of political and economic criteria, free movement of goods, social policy and employment, telecommunications and information technology, environment protection, justice and home affairs.

The main progress regarding the approximation of the Romanian regulations with the Community legislation, achieved between 1st of January and 30th September 2002, is presented in Annex V.

On the other hand, the Romanian authorities have to translate, by the date of accession, all the acquis communautaire in force. The overall responsibility for coordinating this process has been assigned to the European Institute of Romania coordinated by the Ministry of European Integration. The institute has also the task to ensure the legal, technical and linguistic revision of the translated legal texts.

By December 2001, Romania finalized the translation of 58 000 standard format pages of Official Journal of the European Communities and revised 8 000 standard format pages that were transmitted at the beginning of 2002 to the competent EU authorities.

This process also continues by September 2002, with the translation of another 5700 standard format pages of Official Journal approximately and the revision of 2200 standard format pages.































XX QUESTIONS ABOUT ENLARGEMENT



  • Will enlargement affect the safety of our food and other products?

Food safety has a high priority in the EU. The objective is to deliver a high level of public health and consumer protection throughout. The Commission’s White Paper on Food Safety proposed to review existing EU requirements in the field of food safety as well as to establish a European Food Authority. Food safety plays an important role in the accession preparations. The candidate countries need to ensure that they apply all food safety rules and that they have in place the appropriate control mechanisms. Enlargement must in no way lead to a reduction of the present levels of food safety, and any transitional arrangements must respect this. Enlargement will extend a common set of rules to the new members, thereby raising the overall level of safety. The new members will need to bring their consumer protection legislation into conformity with EU law. Consumers have to have the guarantee that only safe food will circulate freely in the enlarged Union.

The alignment to the EU food safety rules is a demanding task for many of the applicant countries. The EU gives financial assistance in order to cope with implementing the requirements in time. The Commission is already monitoring the situation as regards food safety in the applicant countries and will continue to check that rules are properly applied.

  • Can we keep the budgetary costs of the CAP under control? Will the CAP be reformed because of enlargement? How will our farmers be affected by competition from the new members?

Agriculture in the EU has already benefited from the liberalisation of trade with the Central and East European countries. In fact, the EU has a trade surplus in agriculture with most of the applicant countries. On accession, the new members will adopt the common agricultural policy (CAP), which includes market organisations for the main farm products, and funding from the Community budget. The negotiations with the accession countries on agriculture will take place on the basis of the existing CAP rules, and will deal with: the establishing of their production quotas and subsidy entitlements so as to avoid market surpluses; the issue of whether they should receive the direct payments granted to compensate EU farmers for the lowering of guaranteed prices under the last CAP reform; the adoption of EU standards for plant and animal health. At the end of January 2002 the Commission set out a strategy for the negotiations on agriculture, including the gradual introduction of direct payments over a transition period of ten years.

Support will be given, on the other hand, for structural change in their agriculture and food industries before accession, so that when they join they can cope with competitive pressures. This assistance is given through the EU programme for support of agriculture and rural development (SAPARD <../pas/sapard.htm>), with an annual budget of €520 million. EU-15 farmers are generally much more competitive than those in Central and Eastern Europe. Farms and processing industries there face problems that will slow their convergence to EU productivity and efficiency levels for many years to come, although their aim in the long term will be to become fully competitive. There should be scope for gains as both new and old members can benefit from an enlarged single market. Rising incomes of consumers in the new member states will also create demand for higher value added produce. Applying the existing CAP to new Member States without change would entail a big increase in expenditure, though enlargement does not create major budgetary problems in the short term. Enlargement will accentuate a number of existing problems and in this respect could add to internal pressures for reform of the CAP. Changes agreed during the 'mid-term review' of the CAP, which is due this year separately from the accession negotiations, and in the next round of negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), will determine the development of the policy and its budgetary costs in the long term.


  • Can we expect the new members to respect the EU’s environmental standards? How can they solve the environmental problems that they inherited from their past?

The environment is one of the areas where the candidate countries most need to catch up with EU standards. Despite the progress made over the last ten years, the countries still face substantial challenges in environmental protection. For example the emissions are on average much higher per capita than in the EU, and the energy sector often uses outdated technology and still very much relies on poor quality fuel. The size and nature of the challenge explains why the EU has invested heavily in environmental improvements in the applicant countries. Since 1990, the Phare programme <../pas/phare/index.htm> has provided nearly €1 billion for assistance in this area. In 2000, the Commission put in place additional support in the form of the Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre-Accession (ISPA <../pas/ispa.htm>), which finances major environmental and transport infrastructure with an annual budget of €1.04 billion. The bulk of the investments, however, need to be financed by the applicant countries themselves. EU rules and standards in the field of the environment will apply to the new members in the same way as they do to current members. There will be no lowering of standards - a basic principle that applies to all aspects of the enlargement process. This is important also for the unity of the Single Market, to ensure a level playing field for business. In the negotiations for membership, the EU has accepted transitional periods for Central and Eastern European countries facing difficult environmental situations inherited from the past. At the same time, it has insisted on a timetable for soundly-based investment plans for implementing EU standards. Finally, the introduction of the EU's environmental policy will help to safeguard natural habitats and the rich biodiversity of the environment in the applicant countries. It will also mean that Europe as a whole will be more prepared to combat global environmental threats, such as ozone depletion and climate change.

  • What will be the situation for nuclear power in the enlarged EU? Will there be increased risks from out-of-date nuclear reactors in the applicant countries?

The legal framework for nuclear power within the enlarged Union will not differ from that in the present Union. Member countries will remain free to chose the energy mix of their electricity supply and can therefore also choose the nuclear option. Currently, some members are not operating nuclear power plants at all. Others produce between 4% and 76% of electricity from this source. On average, the nuclear sector provides for about 35% of the Union's electricity production. Of the 12 applicant countries negotiating accession to the Union, seven operate nuclear power plants, which provide for between 8% and 73% of their respective national electricity production. Thus, upon enlargement, the Union's energy mix would be little changed. However, the European Union has demanded that the applicant countries ensure a high level of nuclear safety, and has made specific recommendations. Some of the countries (Slovenia, Romania) operate only Western-designed power reactors. Others operate reactors of ex-Soviet design that have been the object of major upgrading and modernisation to improve their safety levels. These power reactors are of different models and generations. In general, four basic design types are in use: RBMK, VVER 440/230, VVER 440/213 and VVER 1000 reactors. Reactors of the first two types cannot be upgraded to the necessary safety levels at reasonable cost. Consequently, Lithuania, Slovakia and Bulgaria have committed themselves to the closure of power units operating these reactor types at the Ignalina, Bohunice and Kozloduy nuclear power plants. But nuclear safety is not defined by the design of the machines alone. It is the result of a comprehensive safety culture (effective and independent regulatory regimes, operating procedures, quality controls, modern management methods and training) that the EU is extending to the applicant countries. The track record of operational safety of nuclear power plants within the EU has been outstandingly good over many decades. The Union has been supporting measures to upgrade nuclear safety levels in the applicant countries, by providing financial assistance as well as through engaging their regulators and operators in nuclear safety co-operative programmes. Thus, enlargement will help improve nuclear safety in Europe.

  • Will enlargement lead to problems for our roads, such as an increase in the number of lorries or greater environmental damage?

Enlargement will have a number of positive consequences in the area of transport, since new member states have to respect existing EU standards in transport and environment policy. EU policies combat the negative effects of road traffic by improved environmental and safety requirements, investment in infrastructure and taxation and price policy. Enlargement will also lead to a higher degree of safety in maritime transport around our coasts. Between applicant countries and the EU there is already an increased exchange of goods by road, rail and sea. The Commission's White Paper on European transport policy for 2010 emphasises the need to integrate the international transport network in Europe with the aim of reducing bottlenecks. Moreover, the Union is supporting a shift from road transport of goods to rail and inland waterways. The modernisation and restructuring of railways in the applicant countries will be essential for that. The applicant countries have made considerable progress over the past years in adopting EU standards. More is, however, necessary and this will also require large amounts of funding in terms of transport infrastructure, for both rail and road. Although the EU provides pre-accession assistance, much will have to be financed by the applicant countries themselves. Investments from the private sector have an important role to play here.

  • Does enlargement mean a risk of more crime, drugs and traffic in human beings from the applicant countries? Will enlargement help the EU fight terrorism?

Enlargement will reduce the risk of such problems affecting citizens in the existing EU, because the new members will have to introduce better standards, procedures and cooperation for fighting crime - and they have already begun to do so in advance of membership. Organised crime respects no borders. By its illegal nature, it takes advantage of loopholes in national legislation, or the absence of efficient co-operation between national security services, and uses sophisticated means to evade controls. It operates across the whole European continent, without being stopped by the present external borders of the EU. The events of September 11 have underlined further the need for greater co-operation across borders, in order to fight terrorism. The candidate countries have aligned themselves with the EU's condemnation of terrorism and associated themselves immediately with the Union's 'Plan of Action' to combat terrorism, as agreed at the European Council on 21 September 2001. Cooperation with the applicant countries is taking place to help their efforts at suppressing and preventing crime. This is both in our interest and in theirs, for they are already victims of organised crime as transit or target countries for trafficking in human beings, drugs etc. Cooperation between law enforcement agencies, common legal standards, and sharing of information will be improved by the applicant countries' adopting our legal instruments and practical standards. One consequence of enlargement will be their participation in all the European structures for fighting organised crime, including Europol and Eurojust. On becoming member states, they will be included in the 'Area of Freedom, Security and Justice', which is one of the major goals of the Union. They must also apply legal procedures that respect basic human rights, an important element of civil liberty in a reunified Europe.

  • Will the new members adopt the euro – and when?

According to the EU membership criteria, new members must be able to demonstrate the 'ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.' The future members are thus expected to adopt the euro when they are ready to do so, but not immediately upon accession. The adoption of the common currency by a country, following accession, demands the respect of detailed conditions. This involves three stages: the current, pre-accession stage, during which the applicant country must demonstrate irreversible progress towards a functioning market economy and competitiveness as well as sustainable macroeconomic stability; an intermediary phase between accession and the adoption of the euro, in which the new member participates fully in the Single Market, demonstrates progress towards achieving the conditions necessary to adopt the euro, including participation in the exchange-rate mechanism; participation in the euro area, provided the new member fulfils all the criteria that apply to current members for the adoption of the single currency (a budget deficit of less than 3 % of GDP, a debt ratio of less than 60 % of GDP, low inflation and interest rates close to the EU average). So far, several of the applicant countries have made good progress towards these goals, at the same time strengthening their economic reforms.

  • Will the controls on people at our borders with new member states be abolished when they join the Union?

After enlargement of the EU, European citizens from the current member states and from the new members will enjoy the freedom to move around the EU on presentation of a valid passport or identity card. This freedom of movement is one of the cornerstones of the Union, from which citizens of the new member states will also benefit. However, abolition of all controls on persons at the 'internal borders' between existing member states and new members is a further step, which will require a subsequent decision by the EU Council of Ministers. It will not take place at the time of enlargement. Abolition of controls on persons, as has been done between the 'Schengen' countries, can be achieved only when all prerequisites are fulfilled to ensure that it will not lead to a decrease in public safety for citizens. One of the most significant conditions is that the future external borders of the Union must be monitored as effectively as the present borders are monitored by the Member states belonging to the Schengen zone. Controls at internal borders with or between the new members will therefore be abolished only when all conditions are fulfilled to ensure adequate guarantees of security for all European citizens. This means that they will be lifted later than enlargement, as was the case for Greece, which joined the Schengen zone only in 1999, and the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden and Finland) which joined in 2001. The EU recognises that, for the applicant countries, abolition of internal borders will be a major symbol for citizens of belonging to the Union. So it has devoted significant funds to improve the capacity of applicant countries in advance of enlargement. This has entailed important programmes to adapt the equipment of the future external borders, and sending pre-accession advisors to ensure that administrative capacity will be at the required level in order to implement our common rules.

  • With the arrival of poorer countries in the EU, will there be an increase in the EU budget? Will my country have to pay more? Will my taxes increase?

The disparity of wealth between current and future members of the EU is one of the most challenging aspects of this enlargement. It has been estimated that in the enlarged EU there will be a doubling of the income gaps between countries and regions. Given their lower level of development, the new member states can expect to be beneficiaries from the EU budget. However, fears that enlargement may lead to unforeseeable or unmanageable financial burdens are unfounded. The EU budget is capped at 1.27% of its GNP, and any change to this ceiling would require a unanimous decision by member states. The EU's financial planning for 2000 to 2006, adopted by the Berlin European Council in March 1999, includes €22 billion devoted to 'pre-accession assistance' for infrastructure and institution-building (PHARE), environmental and transport infrastructure (ISPA) and rural development (SAPARD) in the applicant countries. Amounts were also set aside at Berlin for spending (particularly on structural and agricultural policy) after the new members join, to help their economic development. This planning was based on the assumption that six new countries would join in 2002. Since the first accessions will in fact be later, the funding in the current financial perspective will be sufficient even if there are more countries. It is on this basis that the Commission had developed its ideas for funding enlargement, in a recent paper on a 'Common Financial Framework 2004-2006 for the Accession Negotiations'. The Commission will present proposals to the Council for common negotiating positions on the basis of existing legislation and the principles inherent in the Berlin agreement, as set out in the above paper, with the aim of defining EU common positions in the first half of 2002. The accession negotiations should therefore be concluded independently of decisions for financing the EU after 2006. The Commission has already launched a debate on the future of the Structural and Cohesion Funds after 2006, and in that context the Union will need to discuss the future arrangements for transfers to the less developed regions of the existing Member States. Enlargement is not simply an analysis of budgetary costs. There will also be general economic benefits from the expansion of the Single Market to more than 500 million inhabitants. By expanding, the EU will also make substantial gains in terms of security and stability across the continent, which will in turn bring greater prosperity.


  • What is the status of Turkey's application for membership? When will accession negotiations commence?

Association Agreement between Turkey and the EU in 1963 foresaw the possibility of Turkey becoming a member of the Union, and in 1989 it applied to join. The customs union that has been developed under the Agreement provides economic benefits both to the EU and to Turkey. The Helsinki European Council in 1999 granted Turkey the status of applicant for membership in the EU, and encouraged it to undertake the necessary political and economic reforms. For this purpose, the EU recently adopted an 'Accession Partnership' with Turkey, mapping out the short and medium-term priorities for it to fulfil the accession criteria. This encourages Turkey to carry out major reforms of its political system to become a stable democracy respecting human rights and minorities, in line with the accession criteria. Accession negotiations with Turkey cannot begin before it fulfils the political criteria for EU membership concerning democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities. In the Commission's 2001 Strategy Paper, a new stage is proposed for Turkey based on a more detailed preparation for EU membership requirements. In this context, Turkey is encouraged to intensify and accelerate the process of political and economic reform in line with the accession criteria and the priorities set out in the 'Accession Partnership'.
























































XI. COMMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION TO THE DRAFT REPORT ON ROMANIA’S MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION TO THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE STATE OF NEGOTIATIONS, PREPARED BY BARONESS EMMA NICHOLSON OF WINTERBOURNE




References to the “Report”

EVALUATION

COMMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

I. BACKGROUND AND OVERALL EVALUATION



- As of now, Romania has provisionally closed the lowest number of chapters (6 out of the 31), due to a combination of low administrative capacity and disruption caused by last year’s elections;

- Urgent measures improving administrative capacity are necessary, with a view to accelerating the presentation and the quality of the position papers and to allow the opening of new chapters by autumn 2001.

- Until the end of May 2001, the position papers for 17 chapters of negotiation are registered to the EU Council, of which 6 are opened and other 6 are provisionally closed

- Until December 31, 2000, Romania has forwarded the position papers for 13 chapters of negotiation to the EU Council, during the Intergovernmental Conference on Accession. Negotiations were opened for 9 chapters and 6 of them were provisionally closed.

- As the pace of preparation and development of the accession negotiations during 2000 was considered unsatisfying, the new Government of Romania took the necessary administrative and legislative measures in order to accelerate the preparation process for Romania’s accession to the EU. To this regard:

The Ministry of European Integration (MEI) was established;

The State Secretaries for European Integration were designated in every ministry, all being members of the Interministry Committee for European Integration;

The National Delegation for negotiating Romania’s accession to the European Union was established;

sectorial delegations for 29 chapters of negotiation were organized, comprising specialists of ministries, line institutions of central public administration and other public institutions responsible for transposing and implementing the acquis in the respective field;

Responsible institutions for 29 chapters of negotiations were established, that will provide the Secretariat for each sectorial delegation, in collaboration with the MEI;

The MEI Commission for Social Dialogue was established in order to debate with the unions and employers every position paper before it is discussed in the Government reunion;

A consultation mechanism with the representatives of the political parties was also established

Following these measures, the pace and quality of negotiations preparation increased. Following the schedule made in respect of the “road map”, recommended by the Nice European Council, 8 new position papers (the position papers for 2 new chapters – Free movement of capital and Fisheries; the revised position papers for 3 chapters – Telecommunication and information technology, Transport policy and Fisheries; the complementary position papers for 3 chapters – Competition policies, Culture and Audio-visual policies and Customs Union) have been elaborated and forwarded to the UE Council, between January and May 2001.

- At the Intergovernmental Conferences on Accession of March and May (2001), Romania opened the negotiations on 3 new chapters (Company law, Fisheries and Customs Union). At the same time, the conditions for the opening of negotiations for the remaining chapters on the Swedish presidency agenda (Free Movement of Capital, Consumer protection and Transport Policy), at the June Conference on Accession, are met, on the occasion of which the provisional closing of some negotiation chapters could also be achieved;

- The National Delegation for negotiating Romania’s accession to the EU is now preparing the position papers for 13 other negotiation chapters:

Two of them will be forwarded to the EU Council until the end of May (Social policy and Energy) and other 4 position papers until the end of July, in order to be included on the Belgian presidency agenda (Free Movement of Goods, Taxation, Industrial Policy and Financial Control);

The complementary position paper for the chapter Company Law will be forwarded until the end of May and the complementary position paper for the chapter Fisheries in July;

3 other position papers will be forwarded during September and October (Free Movement of Services, Economic and Monetary Union and Justice and Home Affairs);

As for the more difficult chapters, such as Agriculture and Environment Protection, preparations for preliminary position papers are currently developed. The preliminary draft of the position paper for the chapter Environment Protection will be submitted for consultation to the European Commission at the end of May.

- Thus, until the end of 2001, Romania will be able to open negotiations for 24 chapters, and so reduce the existent gap with other candidate states;

- In the first part of 2002, Romania will be able to forward position papers for the other chapters of negotiation, thus fitting completely into the schedule proposed by the Enlargement Strategy Paper, issued by the European Commission in November 2000.

II. THE COPENHAGEN POLITICAL CRITERIA

a. The Child’s Rights


- The provisions of the Revised Strategy for Child Care and Child Protection, submitted at the beginning of March 2001, by the National Agency for the Protection of Child’s Rights, do not implement, and in some cases undermine the political guidelines expressed by the President of Romania and by chapter V of the Government’s program The main criticisms regarding the Strategy have been expressed in the Explanatory Statement, of the Draft Report, position 11, and they are as follows:

- The punctual observations included in the Report were made by the Rapporteur on the basis of a first Draft of the mentioned Strategy, from March 2001; the text has been significantly improved, taking into account the opinions expressed both by the Romanian institutions involved, and also by the European Commission, during April and May. The final version of the “Governmental Strategy for the Protection of the Child in Need (2001-2004), including the Operational Plan for the implementation of the Strategy, has been approved by the Government at the end of May, 2001. The provisions of the above-mentioned Strategy do not contravene the Government’s Program;

- The Strategy provides that there will be adopted a “Child’s Code”, by the end of 2001, that will include all the pieces of legislation regulating the observance of child’s rights, care and protection;

- The general directions of the reform process for the protection system of the child in need and emergency, according to the Strategy, are as follows:

1) Preventing and diminishing the child abandoning cases (by own parents), by supporting the families in difficulty;

2) Restructuring of the existing services and institutions of a residential type, including services for handicapped children or with deficiencies; re-orientation of allocated resources for alternative services to the residential protection. The aimed result of this measure represents a reduction of the number of institutionalised children (with 10 000 by the end of 2001, and with 25 000 by the end of 2004);

3) Improving, amending and approximating the legal framework for the proper organization and functioning of the child’s protection system;

4) Promoting adoption as a special protection measure, with particular emphasis on encouraging national adoption;

5) Continuation of the decentralisation process, from the county to the local level;

6) Improving the financial mechanisms: ensuring financial resources, co-coordinating the financial flows, increasing the spending efficiency of allocated budgets and the efficiency of the obtained results;

7) Improving the system of compulsory minimal standards, and the professional and administrative-institutional norms;

8) Creating an accreditation system at national level, for the non-governmental organizations active in the field of child protection;

9) Developing and professional improving human resources within the child protection system;

10) Creating and developing the national system for the monitoring and evaluation of the situation of the child in need or emergency, together with the activity of services and institutions for the child’s protection and care, including the available financial resources or the ones allocated at /from central and local level and the administration of such resources;


- The commitment clearly expressed in the Government’s Program, to promote national adoption and alternative assistance for the child on the basis of family integration, is not implemented by the Strategy (that only refers to the adjustment of the legal framework in order to it comply with certain international conventions);

- The Strategy only proposes to close only the institutions that have more than 150 children and does not take any measures to prevent abandonment;















- In the Strategy there is no provision establishing the necessity of revising the accreditation system for the NGOs and of independent monitoring the institutions administrated by the NGOs and local authorities;







- In the Government’s Strategy there are references to the commitment of the Government to promote national adoption and the child’s family integration, found in chapters like: General Framework, Principles, General Directions, Operational Plan for the implementation of the strategy.



- Strategy foresees as a result of its implementation, “the reduction of the number of residential institutions and the closing of the ones that, from different reasons, can not be re-organized in order to ensure a family environment;

- Romanian authorities have proved to be constantly concerned with re-structuring of the residential institutions. In this matter, in the period between 1.01.2000 and 31.03.2001, 13 residential institutions of the classical type. In 2000, 7861 children have been de-institutionalised, and other 2147 children have been placed in their own families or in adopting families, in the first three months of 2001;

- In the “Operational Plan”, the first section concerns the measures preventing abandonment. In this matter, measures have already been implemented, starting with the beginning of this year, such as the new system for allowances for children from low-income families. In the implementation of the Government Decision no. 208/2001, 16,578 children receive a monthly allowance of 400,000 ROL in order to prevent them being abandoned due to the financial difficulties of their families;

- In the Strategy, the “General Directions” chapter includes, as a priority, the establishment of an accreditation system at national level for the NGOs with activity in the field of child’s protection. The system is supposed to include a central body competent in accrediting and monitoring the NGOs activity, according to the system of compulsory minimal standards;


- Lack of reference to the new approach regarding the closure and restructuring of the special schools for special children, where important situations of cruelty and abuse were identified in the past;






























- The National Strategy of the Ministry of Education and Research, regarding the re-organising and restructuring of the special education, mentions the following directions:

a)     School access and integration of children with deficiencies in public schools; for that purpose, the following actions have been initiated:

Re-diagnosis of children with deficiencies from the special schools (Jan. – Mar. 2000), with the result that 1000 pupils from 2nd to 4th grade have been transferred to public schools, and the number of 1st grade classes in the special schools decreased with over 100 in the year 2000;

Enrolment in public schools of the disabled children has decreased the number of children in special schools, from 61,000 in 1999, to 48,237 in 2000, (during three school years), while the number of disabled children in normal public schools increased from 2500 in 1999, to 4288 in 2000;

Organization of training courses for teachers involved in psycho-pedagogic assistance of the disabled children enrolled in public schools;

Organization of training courses for school teachers, teaching classes that include 1-3 disabled children;

b)     Enlarging the curricula of the special schools by offering specialized human resources, documentation and information materials, training courses for improving the quality of teaching, working meetings, experience exchange;

c)      Establishment of school partnerships with NGOs and associations in the field, seen as an important step towards the integration in the community of these special schools.

- As concerns the future of special schools in Romania, we consider that they will still be active, as part of the education system, due to the fact that come categories of deficient children cannot adapt themselves to public schools, or, from the very beginning specialists consider necessary for them to attend and benefit from the special schools’ services.


- Strategy lacks indicators, deadlines and resources clarifying the time and the financial scale of the proposals made;


- Lack of attention to some target groups such as Roma children and children with HIV/Aids

- “The Operational Plan for the implementation of the Strategy”, structured by chapters and columns, includes both clear reference indicators, and responsibilities, deadlines and time frames for the implementation of proposed measures for the nominated institutions;

- Target groups such as Roma children and children with HIV/AIDS are approached as a priority, in the Strategy adopted by the Government Special provisions regarding the protection of Roma children can be found in the “Strategy for improving Roma minority situation”, adopted by the Government in April 2001.



- In many cases, institutionalised children of all ages (most of them not being orphans) are submitted to permanent physical and psychological cruelty and sexual abuse and they suffer from and lack of food and proper medical care;

- In some cases, children are unnecessary placed in special institutions, being thus excluded from a normal life;

- According to the centralized information at the moment, we cannot speak about a phenomenon of brutality as such in the institutions for the child’s protection. The problems are related mostly to the long or indefinite period in which the child lives in the institution, as well as not providing the family environment in order to take care of some of the children in the institutions;

- The cases of brutality that are discovered or reported, are immediately investigated and the persons having a part in it are sanctioned;

- The Government aims at taking active measures for supporting the families, in order to diminish the abandon phenomenon of their own children, as well as the hardening of the sanctions for the parents who would abandon their children anyway. Here is to mention the fact that the Government financially supports the families with poor incomes and many children, in order to prevent the abandonment.


- The new strategic direction in the field of child health care and welfare protection must fully respect European values as expressed by the Copenhagen criteria and the acquis communautaire, as these reflect accurately the UN Convention principles

- The Government action in the field of promoting and respecting the child’s rights, as well as the protection of the child in need, respects all documents and international treaties to which Romania is part, especially in the context of Romania’s accession to the European Union.


- The elucidation of the ethical rules applying to those working on child care issues, including the prohibition of having a second job or any personal or financial interest in any other organization



- Matters of great importance are: aligning the national legislation on handicapped children to the EU standards and providing financial and technical support to their families; adopting concrete measures to fight juvenile pornography and child trafficking;

- The rights the handicapped children are benefiting from are stipulated in the Emergency Ordinance no. 102/1999, regarding the special protection and employment of the handicapped persons, a legal act which is in compliance with the EU standards concerning the special protection of the handicapped persons as well as with the followings:

Council recommendation of July 24, 1986, regarding the employment of the handicapped persons;

Council resolution of June 27, 1974, regarding the initiating of a Community action programme for vocational rehabilitation of the handicapped persons;

Resolution of the Education ministers on the occasion of the Council meeting on May 31, 1990, regarding the integration of the handicapped children and youth in an educational system;

Council and member states government representatives’ resolution on the occasion of the Council meeting on December 16, 1991, regarding the action plan of the Community regarding the accessibility for transportation of the low mobility persons;

Council resolution of December 20, 1996, regarding the equality of chances for handicapped persons;

Council conclusions of December 6, 1989, regarding the employment of the handicapped persons;

Council recommendation of June 4, 1998, regarding the allowance of the parking permits for handicapped persons;

Besides the free and equal access to any ordinary learning institution, home scholar preparation for the handicapped, unmovable children, the state aid for this category of children is the one settled by the law, increased by 100% (the present amount of which is 260,000 ROL);

The fee for sustaining the handicapped children being placed, according to the law, in familial care, or consigned to a family, to a person, or to an authorized private institution, is the one settled by the law, increased by 50% (the present amount of which is 550,000 ROL). The persons who take care, look over and support a handicapped child also enjoy special rights.

- Emergency Ordinance no. 102/1999 regulates the rights and obligations of the personal assistant of the handicapped person, including the ones of the assistant for permanent care of the handicapped child.



- The reform of the international adoption process must be achieved through the Child’s Act;

- The ratification of the UN Convention of the Child’s Rights determined, because of the translation mistakes, numerous blurs, which have driven away the provisions of many key articles from the original version;

- The previous government did not respect the less severe Hague Convention on International Adoptions the result being that the rights of a large number of Romanian children have been ignored or transgressed by the authorities.

- Due to the very large sums of money involved, the national reform programme for ensuring and maintaining the health and the development of the child and the family, has been exploited by the global child market in or through Romania; the internet adds present the child’s photo, height, weight and price.

- The profitable trade in children has continued in spite of the Constitutional Court’s decision no. 62/1993, confirming that the child’s best interest is not to be taken away from his/her linguistic and religious environment.

- We consider that, in spite of some translation mistakes in the Convention text, these do not create impediments in implementing the Convention’s provisions. Nevertheless, in order to eliminate any differences between the Convention’s text and its translation in the Romanian language, the Government adopted, on the 31st of May 2001, a revised version of this translation.

- Regarding the adoptions, the Government will particularly promote and encourage the national adoption, so that as many children as possible, who, for different reasons, do not benefit from the right to be raised up and educated in a family, to find one in Romania, in their own linguistic and religious environment. We underline the fact that the critics expressed by the rapporteur in charge with the adoption legislation in Romania, have concerned the draft of the legal act on adoption, the form of which has not been defined yet and is supposed to be improved, in order to eliminate the provisions which are not in compliance with the international Conventions to which Romania is part, especially the Hague Convention

- Since the beginning of the mandate of the present Cabinet, not a single new procedure concerning international adoption has been initiated. By repelling the point system, on the basis of which the repartitions were made, there has not been a legal base for the initiating of new international adoptions briefs anymore, which is in fact equal to a break in the process of international adoptions.


-The moratorium on international adoption announced by the Government in February 2001 must be strengthened and maintained for at least 2 or 3 years.



-The ratification by the Romanian National Parliament of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Child’s Rights, regarding the selling of children, the child prostitution and juvenile pornography, signed in September 2001 by the President of Romania, is a must.

- The Government has already approved on the 31st of May 2001, a draft law for the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention regarding the Child’s Rights;

b. Minorities


- The implementation of the “The National Strategy for Improving the Roma Community Status” is essential, taking into account the significant level of discrimination still in place;

-The National Strategy for Improving the Roma Community Status is accompanied by a Master Plan of Measures for Applying the Strategy in the 2001-2004 period, which comprises substantial actions, with precise deadlines and clear responsibilities for each institution, in the field of Public Administration and Community Development, Housing, Social Security, Health Care, Economy, Justice and Public Order, Child Protection, Education, Culture and Denominations, Communication and Civic Involvement, etc;

- In close connection with the above-mentioned strategy, it’s worth mentioning the launching of the Partnership Fund, in January 2001 (financed by PHARE). This Fund offers grants in a total amount of 0,9 MEURO and aims at supporting partnership between local authorities and the organisations acting in Roma communities, and to strengthen the capacity of the Roma organisations;

- Regarding discrimination, the Government Ordinance no.137/2000 on preventing and sanctioning all forms of discrimination has been adopted. This legal act is based on the principle of equal treatment of persons, regardless of their racial or ethnic origin. The provisions of this Government Ordinance apply to all natural or legal persons, public or private, as well as to public institutions. According to the Government Ordinance no. 137/2000, all forms of discrimination are eliminated by:

establishing affirmative actions or special measures for persons and groups of persons belonging to national minorities, national minorities communities, and in order to protect disadvantaged groups, when these do not enjoy equal chances;

sanctioning discriminatory behaviour.

- As a short-term goal, the National Council for Fighting Discrimination will be established as an independent organism of the central public administration. The National Council for Fighting Discrimination will implement the principle of equality, stipulated by the Constitution, both in the national legislation in force and the international acts to which Romania is part.


- The Senate has not abolished yet the art. 200 of the Penal Code;

- A draft of a legal act for the modification of the Penal Code, which will no longer incriminate homosexual relations, is under debate in the Senate. The newly proposed legal act maintains though as offences the homosexual relation with a minor under 15 years, homosexual relations with a minor between 15-18 years, if the offender has a certain status (tutor, legal guardian, etc) as well as the rape of a person of the same sex. The sexual relations in public or in the presence of a minor, regardless of the sex, are punished as well.

c. Administrative capacity and anti-corruption action


- Recently evidence was given to the Rapporteur of exceptional interference of the executive in the judiciary (judges were dismissed and their decisions called into question by the government)


- The level of the judges’ wages needs to be raised in order to attract and retain top quality professionals and to reduce the corruption potential.


- In the 1997–2000 period, by successive amendments to the Law no.92/1992, regarding the judiciary system, the responsibilities of the Minister of Justice were gradually increased, especially as regards human resources management and the relationship with the Prosecutor’s Office and the Superior Council of Magistracy (e.g. the art 88 (1) confers to the minister of Justice the exclusive power in order to recommend to the Superior Council of Magistracy the nomination of the judges, of the president and vice-president and of the section presidents of the Supreme Court of Justice);

- In present, the Ministry of Justice undertakes measures in order to improve the functioning of the judiciary system and its public image, as well. In cases when misbehaviours or infringements of attributions were noticed, the minister of Justice proposed to the Superior Council of Magistracy to take the measures foreseen by the Law. Consequently, during 1 January – 25 April 2001, the Superior Council of Magistracy has decided the revoking of 6 judges from the function of president. In the same period the Superior Council of Magistracy has decided to accept the resignation from the function of vice-president and president of 6 judges.

- We underline the fact that all the measures regarding the nomination, promotion, transfer, revoking or dismissal of the judges are decided only by the Superior Council of Magistracy, as independent body, elected in 1997 by the Romanian Parliament.

- The judges wages are in compliance with the provisions of the Law no 50/1996 republished, modified and amended by the Government Ordinance no 83/2000. Besides their monthly allowance, the judges have some additional rights (disbursement of rent for judges who do not own houses, a 50% subsidy for railway transport, free medical assistance, etc.). The current salary level of judges (between 1,5 and 6 medium wages) indicates them as the category of the highest paid civil servants.


- At a central level, except for a reduced number of ministries well managed and with a qualified staff, the public administration capacity to implement and manage the acquis is very limited and represents a major problem within the pre-accession process;

- In some key sectors (agriculture, environment and integration) the administration lacks the required level of competence;

- Some key institutions still need to be set up;

- It is necessary to ensure the independence of the regulatory and supervisory bodies.


a) In order to make the decision-making process more efficient and to reinforce the capacity of implementing and managing the acquis communautaire, the Romanian Government was reorganised in the first trimester of 2001.

- With a view to better preparing the accession of Romania to the European Union, some new ministries were set up: the Ministry of European Integration, the Ministry of Development and Prognosis and the Ministry for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and Cooperation;

- Some governmental agencies have been moved within the structure or under the coordination of the ministries in order to ensure coherent and efficient activities. Also, some governmental agencies have been unified and have become ministries (the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Information, the Ministry of Tourism);

- The Ministry of European Integration is functioning with the entire allocated personnel. Within the structure of each ministry, departments or units for European integration and external relations have been set up. Within the prefectures and the county councils, departments for European integration, with a total staff of 200 persons, have also been set up;

- The number of specialists who work in the project implementation units for the pre-accession assistance is up to 170 persons, at the level of central public administration;

- 2000 specialists are involved in the SAPARD Programme at a central, regional and local level;

b) Through PHARE projects that are currently being run, the following are to be completed: the assessment of the needs of professional training in the public administration, the development of an information system for the public administration, the elaboration and implementation of the strategy for professional training of public servants. The National Institute for Public Administration, which will have an important role in the professional training, will be set up.

c) On the occasion of the reorganisation of the former Ministry of Industry and Trade, the National Regulatory Authority for Electric Energy as well as the National Regulatory Authority for Natural Gas were set, under the coordination of the Ministry of Industries and Resources. This change was the result of the necessity to organize the legislative framework for the coherent and efficient functioning of these authorities, as some parallelisms and contradictions were noticed especially as regards the Competition Law no. 21/1996.



- The Government decided a reduction of 30% of staff in the civil service, without taking into account the real staffing significant needs in terms of numbers and qualifications. This has led to the slowdown of the negotiations process and further limiting the ability of Romanian institutions to manage and absorb the increased levels of EU funding;

- The Government Programme approaches the acceleration of the local and central public administration reform starting from the EC critical evaluation of the situation in the field;

- One of the main goals of the public administration represents its own restructuring, both at central and local level. This restructuring was achieved, along with other implemented measures, also by an overall and step by step reduction of 30% of staff from ministries, governmental agencies and from the local public authorities, as well;

- In order to strengthen the administrative capacity of the Government structures, the attributions and responsibilities of every ministry, public central authority, prefecture and public decentralised service have been established. The precise performance criteria of civil servants, basis of their annually activity evaluation, were established;   

- We consider that the staff reduction is aimed at increasing the efficiency and speed of the process of accession preparation. The reduction of Government expenses was determined by the need to meet the macro-economic correlations established with IMF and World Bank and was a follow-up of the unfavourable economic situation, prior to 2000. There is no proof that either the negotiation process or the absorption capacity of EU funds was affected because, in these fields, staff has been employed and not reduced.

-Thus, the negotiations preparations were accelerated. During the period of time March-December 2000, Romania communicated to the EU Council the Position Papers of 13 negotiations chapters compared to the period January-April 2001, when there were elaborated and communicated to the EU Council 8 new Position Papers. The National Delegation for negotiating Romania’s accession to the EU is, currently, preparing the Position Papers for other 13 new negotiations papers.

- As regards the capacity to absorb the EU funds, we mention that in all the ministries and institutions benefiting of EU funding (PIU), there are specialised units for funds benefiting of an intensive training programme;

- In June, 100 young specialists from these project implementation units and around 300 professionals from prefectures, county councils, agencies for regional development will start a training course in the framework of a partnership programme between the Government and the civil society;

- We stress the fact that the 2000 budget allocated for ISPA pre-accession instrument has been entirely contracted and the 2001 budget contracting started; as for SAPARD, an intensive preparation programme for SAPARD Agency accreditation is running;

- Recently, the Government approved certain measures for improving the activity of the Central Financing and Contracting Unit (CFCU) within the Ministry of Public Finance. Out of these measures we mention: CFCU staff increasing, ensuring the appropriate facilities for the optimal running of the activities, ensuring the staff revenues, according to the legal provisions in the field.


- A comprehensive public administration reform programme is critically needed, based on the de-politicisation of the civil service, attracting and retaining high quality professionals, improving training provisions as well as the entire decision-making process, with special emphasis on the budgetary procedure;

- Particular care needs to be taken in ensuring that decentralised responsibilities are matched by sufficient financial and human resources at local level.

- An integrated strategy on public administration reform and of the detailed action plan for its implementation is being currently elaborated;

- The Government Programme foresees that the central and local public administration reform has to be achieved by:

restructuring;

changing the relation between administration and citizen;

public services decentralisation and reinforcement of local administrative and financial autonomy through:

accelerating the process of decentralisation of public services and taking over by the local authorities of the financial and administrative responsibilities for some activities;

transferring to the local public authorities of the activities and related resources from the state budget for financing some public services for local communities: education, health, etc;

establishing new basis for the local taxes;

improvement of the Law on local public finance;

gradual demilitarisation of some community services;

de-politicisation of the public administration structures;

elimination of bureaucracy;

improving the management of the public administration;

applying of national policies for development of rural and urban localities.

- By the Law on local public administration, recently promulgated, the following were achieved:

applying the subsidiarity of descentralisation principle;

strengthening the local public administration capacity to fulfil the responsibilities in a decentralised frame;

The Law no. 216/2001 on 2001 state budget, cap. VI “Provisions referring to the local budget”, foresees the financing of the expenditures for the state-owned pre-university education institution, nurseries and local agricultural consultancy centre out of the local budgets of the administrative – territorial units carrying on their activities under their authority.


- Little progress has been made in reducing corruption and improved co-ordination is needed between the various anti-corruption on-going initiatives


- The legislation adopted so far by the Romanian authorities is harmonised with the main provisions of the Community legislation in this field; the actual institutional arrangements allow the co-ordination of the institutions responsible for taking the necessary measures for fight against corruption;

- Law no. 78 / 2000 on prevention, discovering and fight against corruption transposes into internal legislation provisions of OECD Convention concerning fight against corruption in the international commercial transactions and from the penal Convention of the Council of Europe concerning corruption. By this law the Section of fight against corruption and delinquency organised within the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Romanian Supreme Court of Justice, as a specialized structure in this field at the national level. Within this structure activate representatives of Police, Financial Guard, General Customs Administration, etc.

- Within the 1999 Phare Pre-Ins Facility the project “Strengthening the capacity of the Romanian institutions to fight against public corruption and related organised crime (both active and passive) was developed. This project, amounting 4 MEURO has a 1 MEURO twinning component (the other two components are: training – 1 MEURO and investment – 2 MEURO) for institutional building, between Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Romanian Supreme Court of Justice – Public Ministry and Special Prosecutor’s Office from Spain. The result of this Covenant (which is to be signed between the above mentioned partners in the coming period) is the proposal to amend the primary and secondary legislation with respect to harmonising the Romanian related structures with the EU structure. The objectives of the project refer to: a) training of the personnel; b) evaluation of the legislation in this field; c) institutional assessment for setting-up of an inter-institutional operative structure (section for fight against corruption and organised crime, according to the Law no. 78/2000).

- The number of dossiers forwarded to the Prosecutor’s Office by the Police authorities demonstrates an improvement of the efficiency of the Romanian authorities as far as the fight against corruption is concerned. For example, in the first quarter of 2001 were indicated 3285 persons, wich had committed 3654 offences of bribery, 1973 offences of traffic of influence, 334 for receiving illegal advantages and 30 offences stipulated by the Law on anti-corruption. These statistical data indicate the strong commitment of the Romanian authorities to enforce the existent laws and fight against corruption.


- A comprehensive anti-corruption initiative could be adopted, focussing on the following principles:

- ensuring transparency and accountability in political life (clear prohibition of conflict of interest for both political and civil servant positions; public disclosure of high ranking politicians and civil servants incomes and assets; transparency of the financing of political parties and campaigns; building of public sector neutrality);

improving public administration accountability (recruitment and promotion merit oriented; isolation of civil service from political changes; dissemination and transparency on rules and procedures of internal administration; strengthening systems of budget management, etc);

creation of a sound business environment and an open society (freedom of media and media access to documents and information; practice of public hearings)

















- Draft Law on access to public information, whose elaboration was based on consultation of the similar European legislation, has been adopted by the Chamber of Deputies and is under the scrutiny of the specialised committee in the Senate. The project provides for the free access of persons to any information of public interest, including information regarding or deriving from the activity of public authorities/institutions. According to section II of the draft Law, the access of mass media to information is guaranteed, under the citizen’s right to obtain and disseminate public information.

III. THE COPENHAGEN ECONOMIC CRITERIA


- According to the Commission’s report of November 2000, Romania cannot be regarded as a functioning market economy and is still not able to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union in the medium-term;

- The Governing Programme for the period 2001-2004 and its accompanying Action Plan stem from Romania’s option for integration into the EU and are built on the restructuring scenario laid down in the Medium Term Economic Strategy adopted in March 2000. The rigorous implementation of the guidelines set out in these key documents will undoubtedly create the conditions for:

Ensuring sound and sustainable economic growth;

Achieving the consolidated macro-stability;

Improving significantly the business environment;

Promoting coherent policies, compatible with the EU mechanisms.


- There have been serious difficulties in implementing the financial and economic agreements, as well as in deciding on the key medium-term reforms such as restructuring and privatisation (in particular for the steel and banking sectors);

- The call for offers regarding SIDEX (steel sector) was still under way at the end of April;

- The European Union institutions should be very attentive, in order to avoid any dysfunction with the privatisation procedures, in particular regarding the regime of State Aid;

- The Government is presently negotiating a new Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF and a set of loan agreements with the World Bank, in view of supporting the carrying on and deepening of the economic and structural reforms. It is to be mentioned the fact that the World Bank senior officials have given the benchmark “100% satisfactory” to the implementation of the 19 programmes of the Bank currently running in Romania;

- The Governing Programme foresees, on one hand, the restructuring and modernisation of the economic agents with competitiveness potential, and, on the other hand, the redirecting, resizing or partial/total closure of certain production capacities with no domestic or foreign market for their output, actions which will be preceded by addressing the related social problems;

- With a view to speeding up the privatisation process on the background of ensuring increased transparency and efficiency, the efforts of the present Government have focused on the reorganisation of the institutional framework through the establishment of the Authority for Privatisation and Administration of State Shareholding (APAPS), the involvement of the ministries in the privatisation process by transferring in their custody a number of companies from its portfolio, and the intensification of the actions for privatising/restructuring some important commercial and national companies. At the same time, a Draft Emergency Ordinance for simplifying the privatisation procedures and ensuring a better post-privatisation control of the contracts concluded was elaborated.

- The Government commitment to accelerate the restructuring and privatisation processes has led, at less than 45 days from its coming into power, to the launching of the privatisation procedures for 17 large commercial companies out of the 63 included in the PSAL 1 Programme with the World Bank, starting with SIDEX. One year after the beginning of this programme, period within which none of the 63 companies had been put to sale, this decision represented the actual launching of the implementation of the privatisation component of PSAL 1;

- The offers for Hidromecanica SA Brasov, Romvag SA Caracal, Urbis SA Bucuresti have already been opened, and the negotiations will soon be starting for Electroputere SA Craiova, Santierul Naval Constanta, Viromet SA Victoria, Corapet Corabia, Tehnofrig Cluj, I.U.G. Craiova, RAFO Onesti, PROMEX Braila, etc.;

- In the steel sector, the “Study for restructuring the iron and steel industry in Romania” was drafted, grounding the medium and long-term strategy (2001-2010) and the policies in this sector. There are 19 privatised companies in the sector (58% of the whole sector), out of which 2 large steel mills. Another 5 companies are included in the PSAL 1 Programme. As for SIDEX, whose output accounts for more than 5% of the GDP and whose share capital represent 47% of the total of RICOP Area no. 2, the commission privatisation has been set up and the privatisation offers have been opened. Negotiations are currently under way with the U.K.- Indian company ISPAT, which are to be finalised by the end of June this year;

- In the banking sector, the privatisation of Agricola Bank is to be highlighted. In the period 2001-2004, restructuring/privatisation procedures will be carried out for Romanian Commercial Bank (for which the privatisation commission has been set up), CEC and EXIMBANK.


- According to the Commission’s Report of November 2000, many of the institutions required in order to ensure the functioning of a market economy either do not exist or are too weak to be effective. Insufficient reforms, together with a growing black economy, has undermined the progress made on macro-economic stabilisation;

- The economic developments registered in the first months of the year 2001 are confirming that the economic growth foreseen in the Governing Programme can be achieved. They also show that the envisaged measures that have been implemented, together with the prioritisation of actions in the first part of the year, were correct and have started to produce results, with a view to achieving the 4.1% target for economic growth in 2001. The evolution of some main macro-economic indicators is relevant in this regard:

Industrial output rose by 13% in the first quarter of 2001 against the same period of the previous year;

Exports (FOB) rose by 19.6% in the same period as compared to the previous year;

Average monthly inflation rate in the first four months of this year was 2.7%, lower than 3.3% in the corresponding period of the year 2000;

Unemployment rate decreased to 9.9% at the end of April 2001 from 10.5% at the end of December 2000;

- Other achievements worth mentioning in the first months of 2001 are the following:

Privatisation, during January-April 2001, of 52 commercial companies; it is important to mention that the Government re-launched the privatisation process starting with the large and very large companies, focusing on the qualitative side of the process, that is on investment, restructuring and reorganisation programmes. The following key privatisation transactions have been concluded in the first months of this year: Agricola Bank, Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, Navigatia Fluviala Drobeta Turnu Severin, ICEPRONAV Galati, etc.

Deployment of an intense activity on the international capital markets, through the completion of a 300 MEURO transaction and execution of a bond issue for TERMOELECTRICA SA, amounting to 150 MEURO.


- The Commission has some concern about the recently adopted budget for 2001, where the expenditure levels appear to be excessive as they are based on optimistic assumptions; furthermore, if an agreement with the IMF is envisaged by the Romanian Government adjustments would be necessary;


- The general consolidated budget for 2001 is built on a moderate deficit (3.7% of GDP), which will be financed mainly from external sources, therefore non-inflationary. Over the period 2002-2004, the Governing Programme foresees the maintenance of the budget deficit around 3% of GDP, in keeping with the the provisions of Romania’s Medium Term Economic Strategy;

- Public expenditure has been earmarked with priority for certain fields such as: nuclear energy sector, agriculture, social sectors, child protection, housing, etc.

- In order to rationalise expenditures, the Emergency Ordinance no. 60/2001 on public procurement was adopted. The new ordinance adjusts and improves the mechanism for acquiring goods, services and works for public institutions and ensures the harmonisation with the provisions of the Community directives;

- Raising an increased amount of public revenues will not be achieved by increasing taxation levels, but by improving revenue collection, strengthening financial discipline in the public sector and raising substantially higher privatisation receipts. An important role in this respect will be played by the implementation of the revised legislation on the Global Income Tax, the increase of the coherency and transparency of the legislation on VAT and excise duties (the three draft laws have already been finalised) and the setting of tighter rules regarding the recovery of amounts owed to the state budget;

- It is important to underline that the macro-economic parameters for the year 2001 have been negotiated and accepted by the IMF, World Bank and EU.


- A large part of the enterprise sector either has yet to start restructuring or is still in the process of doing so;

- This slowness is responsible for the fact that only 6% of RICOP has been implemented until now;

- If this situation is not solved in the short term, Romania risks loss of the remaining amounts (about 100 million);


- Ministry of Public Finance has requested and the European Commission (DG Enlargement) has approved that an Addendum to the RICOP Financing Memorandum be signed within the Phare Management Committee in order to extend the timetable by 12 month for the RICOP subcomponents. The contracting and disbursement periods for all the subcomponents will be also extended until 31 December 2002 and 31 December 2003 respectively;

- For the fulfilment of the RICOP objectives, the Romanian Government has approved a timetable and a plan of precise measures, concerning the privatisation of the enterprises included in the RICOP Restructuring Plan. At present, out of the 69 enterprises included in the RICOP Restructuring Plan:

17 companies have been privatised;

24 companies that implement restructuring programmes registered real improvements of their financial/economic indicators, all of them being now profitable;

31,419 workers have been made redundant (63.3% out of the total initially foreseen) as a result of the implementation of the RICOP Restructuring Plan; for 30,477 of them, the Romanian Government paid severance payments in amount of around 27 MEURO;

as regards SIDEX, which represents 47% of the total of RICOP area no. 2 and account for 24% of the anticipated RICOP lay-offs, the opening of the privatisation offers was held on 5th of April and at this point the negotiation process is underway with the ISPAT company;

- Having regard the above, the percentage of 6% contracted to date has become irrelevant;


- Investment continued to fall under the last Government, delaying the required modernisation of the supply side of the economy;

- In the field of domestic public investments, the economic programme of the Government foresees an increase of the gross fixed capital formation by an average annual rate of 10%;

-The Budget Law for 2001 allocates an amount of 11,430 billion ROL for capital expenditures, representing 1.8% of GDP;

- In the field of foreign direct investments, the main objective for the period 2001-2004 is the substantial increase of their amount, by ensuring an encouraging and attractive investing climate for the foreign investors. The actions undertaken to this purpose in the first months of this year focused on the following

set up, by the Government Decision no. 159/2001, of the Department for Relations with Foreign Investors, a structure under the Prime-minister meant as a “one-stop office” facilitating the access of the major foreign investors willing to invest amounts exceeding 10 million USD;

elaboration of the draft Law regarding the promotion of the direct investments with significant impact in the economy (investments exceeding 1million USD) as a first step to the “Investment Promotion Act”;

establishment of the strategic fields for attracting foreign investments.


- In the case of agriculture, a major structural reform of the sector is still needed, including privatisation. The conditions that would allow the implementation of much of the EC agricultural acquis do not yet exist. The lack of administrative capacity is acute and last year the Ministry of Agriculture was not able either to develop the necessary reforms, or to effectively implement those items of legislation that have been adopted;


- Considering agriculture as a key branch of the economy, the Governing Programme targets the following aspects: acceleration of the land reform, continuation and speeding up of the privatisation process for agricultural commercial companies having the state as main shareholder, the qualitative and quantitative increase of the vegetal and animal production in order to secure the food safety of the population and to obtain food products available for exportation;

- Reorganisation of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests (MAAP) by the Government Decision no. 440/2001 with a view to redefining its role and responsibilities, as well as to creating a structure comparable with those in the EU, able to implement the programmes in the agricultural field (SAPARD, PHARE, SPP)

- In view of implementing the SAPARD Programme, the SAPARD Agency has been consolidated and the Managing Authority (within the Ministry of European Integration) and the Monitoring Committee for the SAPARD Programme were recently set up. The regional offices have been set up and provided with a proper endowment, the information dissemination system was put in place, and the documentation requested by the European Commission was elaborated and will be transmitted to Brussels at mid-June.

- For the transposition of the agricultural aquis and the drafting of the sectoral strategies, the Offices for products within the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests have been strengthened.


- Priority should be given to improving financial discipline, and creating more transparent and business-friendly environment;

- The acceleration of large enterprise privatisation and restructuring as well as the implementation of health care and welfare reforms are urgently needed to ensure stability of public finances.

With a view to reducing the amount of arrears in the economy, the Emergency Ordinance no. 43/2001 on the recovery of budget claims and the corresponding Methodological Norms were adopted, which establish the procedure, criteria and competences for granting derogations from the payment fiscal obligations to the state budget, and binding this incentive upon the existence of restructuring programmes approved according to the legal provisions in force;

- To the same purpose, it has been elaborated and will soon be adopted a draft Emergency Ordinance regarding the strengthening of economic and financial discipline for the regies autonomes, national companies and commercial companies having the state as main shareholder, which aims at making the economic activities profitable and strengthening the economic and financial discipline, reducing considerably the outstanding budget claims and the arrears, as well as cutting down the losses in the economy;

- The significant improvement of the business environment, primarily by ensuring an appropriate economic, financial and legal framework, represents one of the main priorities of the Governing Programme. In this respect, the Government will mainly focus on the removal of administrative barriers to investment and restoration of stability and predictability of the legislative framework;

- 63 large commercial companies are included in the PSAL 1 Programme, for 17 of which the privatisation procedures have already started. As regards the PSAL component “Restructuring/Liquidation of 5 large commercial companies”, restructuring/privatisation strategies have been approved, by Government Decision, for all 5 companies (Clujana SA Cluj, I.U.G. SA Craiova, Nitramonia SA Fagaras, Roman SA Brasov, and Siderurgica SA Hunedoara). As regards PSAL 2 Programme, currently under negotiation with the World Bank, this stipulates explicitly the continuation of the privatisation with the assistance of the international investment banks and the launching of the privatisation process for at least 42 of the existent 63 large commercial companies;

- Concrete action plans and reform measures in specific areas have been initiated, including: reform of the public administration structures in the healthcare system, increase of the medical services quality, improvement of national emergency services system, and harmonisation of the national legislation with the acquis communautaire;

- The draft Law regarding the national system of social security, that will be adopted this year, foresees the increase of the efficiency of expenditures in the field of social assistance through a unitary management of the funds allocated for this sector together with the funds from the state budget, in order to ensure sufficient resources for covering social assistance needs, pending their availability for work or training.

IV. THE ABILITY TO ADOPT AND ENFORCE THE ACQUIS


- In some instances, the Government itself suspended the adoption of the acquis. At the same time, there is a worrying lack of progress in certain key areas;

- The assertion is general and needs supplementary clarifications;


- The Romanian authorities did not succeed yet to present a comprehensive policy framework in the field of internal financial control. In this respect, it is compulsory to develop policy guidelines for preventive financial control and internal audit functions (this is particularly important at local level where the capacity to manage and control public funds remains weak);

- Substantial efforts are still required to develop control mechanisms for pre-accession funds;

- In order to ensure an unitary and coherent framework for the internal audit and preventive financial control activities, the Ministry of Public Finance has elaborated the strategy document in the field of public internal financial control – Policy Paper – that was submitted for endorsement to the European Commission in May this year. This document contains an analysis of the present situation in this field, mentioning the strong and weak points in the implementation of the public internal financial control system in Romania, as well as a short and medium-term action plan, in order to bring the financial control and internal audit activity in line with the requirements of the Community acquis;

- Through Phare 2000 programme, support is provided for improving policies and procedures for a sound control and management of EU funds. Actions have been undertaken to develop and improve the procedures, organisation (including staff and training), and documentation, both for National Fund and implementing/paying agencies, with a view to applying the procedures and principles for a sound financial control and management;

- According to the Policy Paper, the methodology regarding the preventive financial control for ISPA and SAPARD funds will be approved till June 2001. The elaboration and approval of the specific methodology for auditing the use of ISPA funds will be accomplished till June 2001, whereas for SAPARD funds till October 2001;


- In spite of the many positive initiatives taken by the Government since it took office, the Commission states that there are recent legislative acts that contradict the European Agreement and represent a move away from the acquis, such as:

legislation on export restrictions on logs and scrap metal;

obstacles for EU law firms establishing in Romania;

the suspension of procurement legislation;

the loss of independence of Romania’s energy regulators;

a) Taking into consideration the necessity to protect the natural resources, for the year 2001 the Government limited the cutting down to a volume of 17 million cubic meters of exploitable wood and decided that this will be used mainly for the internal industrial processing.

- The article 36 of the European Agreement does not exclude the possibility to introduce export restrictions, justified on the basis of the natural resources protection. This product is considered to be essential for the Romanian economy and its scarcity could produce serious difficulties. The measure is non-discriminating and will be abolished as soon as the conditions will permit. In this respect, the Ministry of European Integration presented to the European Commission a Non-Paper as a basis for the adoption of these measures;

- In order to increase the quality and positive results in the privatisation activity, the Government ordered the evaluation of the activity in the privatised units, in those under privatisation and in those being preserved. The result of this control shows that there were found many economic units dismantled, any activity being stopped because the endowment equipment was transformed and sold as metal wastes. In order to stop this phenomenon, a series of specific actions have been taken, including the temporarily suspension, for a period of 120 days, of the export of scrap metal. The Measure has an emergency and temporary character;

b) According to the Europe Agreement stipulations, Romania has the obligation to give, till the expiring of the transition period required by the art. 7, a non less favourable treatment than those given to its own companies and citizens only for the juridical counselling services (Annex XVII of the Agreement and the Establishment Directive);

- According to the legislation in force (Law no. 51/1995, modified by the Law no. 231/2000 and republished), the advocate profession is practised only by the Bars members, at choice, in individual offices, associate offices or civil professional societies. Member of the Bars in Romania can be a person fulfilling the following conditions: is a Romanian citizen living in Romania, has the exercise of civil and political rights, does not practice an authorised or paid profession in another country, has a law faculty diploma or a Ph.D. in law, is not in one of the non-dignity cases stipulated by the law;

- The member of a Bar in another country may practise the advocate profession in Romania if he/she fulfils the conditions stipulated by law, except those regarding the Romanian citizenship. The foreign advocate may practise the advocate profession only within civil professional societies, in association with a number at least equal of Romanian advocates;

- The foreign advocate who practises the profession in Romania is obliged to be registered in a special register of the Bar. The member of a Bar from another country may not give juridical assistance regarding the Romanian law and may not put conclusions in front of the courts of justice, of other jurisdictional and judicial bodies, except those for international arbitration;

- Foreign advocates who practise profession in Romania, under various forms not being allowed by the law, are obliged to constitute civil professional societies, in 6 months from the enforcement of the law no. 231/2000. Till now, only one Community firm respected the procedure stipulated by law.

c) The Emergency Ordinance no. 60/2001 regarding public procurement (Official Journal no. 241/11.05.2001) has been adopted and entered into force. The stipulations of this ordinance are in conformity with those of the communitarian law in the field;

d) The measures adopted in the energy sector, including the functioning of the regulators in the field of electric and thermo energy and natural gas under the coordination of the Ministry of Industry and Resources, have a temporarily character and did not intend to affect the independence of these authorities, but to make them function. There were modified and completed the Mine Law and the Oil Law, and it was elaborated a new law for the electric and thermo energy. These modifications had as purpose the creation of a coherent and unitary legal framework, the new proposals for legislative acts containing common stipulations regarding public and private property of the state, and the concession regime.

V. IMPLEMENTING THE PRE-ACCESSION STRATEGY


- National budgetary procedures are weak. The medium-term programming of expenditure needs to be substantially improved. A programme-oriented budgetary system needs to be developed and the overall budget execution process strengthened;

- Romania should also take measures to strengthen public financial control functions through the provision of trained staff and equipment. In this respect, a special importance should be paid to the management of SAPARD funds, which will be done on a decentralised basis by Romanian authorities. In this respect, the rapporteur considers as grounded the request to OLAF to examine the EU funding in the last three years in favour of Romanian Children;

- Starting with the year 2000, the programme-oriented budgetary system has been introduced as a pilot in 8 ministries and governmental agencies, and in 2001 the system has been extended to 13 governmental institutions (12 ministries and one agency), the transparency of the budget being increased by providing information not only on the way of using the funds allocated to the institutions, but also on the efficiency of their use;

- By adopting the Policy Paper in the field of public internal financial control, the strengthening in the medium term of the activity in this field will be ensured, including as far as the institutional capacity (appropriate staff and endowment) of the involved institutions is concerned;

- The National Fund, general directorate within the Ministry of Public Finance, has as main function the Phare, ISPA and SAPARD programmes’ financial management, as well as the final responsibility for using the community funds. As regards SAPARD programme, for which the Multi-annual and Annual Financial Agreements were signed at the beginning of 2001, the National Fund will also be the recipient of the SAPARD funds allocated to Romania in the period 2000 – 2006, and will be the Competent Authority for internal accreditation of SAPARD Agency.


- The absorption difficulties regarding the 100 MEURO under RICOP and the risk that Romania will lose these funds reflect very clearly the straight link between the adoption of strategic economic reforms, and the ability of Romania to manage and absorb the increased EU funding. In this context and if the administrative capacity is not improved, a shortfall of around 45 MEURO could be necessary for 2001.

- Romania is not in danger of loosing the financing of 100 MEURO for RICOP Programme as it was asked for, and approved by the European Commission (DG Enlargement) that within the Phare Management Committee an addendum to the RICOP Financing Memorandum to be signed, according to the deadlines to be extended with 12 month for the various components of RICOP. Also, the contracting and disbursement periods for all the sub-components will be extended to 31 December 2002, 31 December 2003, respectively;

- In direct connection with RICOP programme, the Romanian Government approved a schedule and a very precise action plan for privatising the enterprises included in the RICOP Restructuring Plan;

- According to some recent statements of some officials of EC Delegation in Romania, the Romania’s absorption capacity of community funds exceeded 90%.

- Phare 1999 contracting is within the finalising chart till the end of current year (except for RICOP, that already was granted an extension period), and are about to start the Phare 2000 projects (in this respect is to be mentioned that the economic and social cohesion of the Phare 2000 allocation, of about 90 Meuro, was recently launched);

- Having in view the above mentioned, we are considering that is not necessary and in the benefit of Romania the allocation level for Phare 2001 funds to be diminished. The Ministry of European Integration, as national coordinator of the community grant assistance, is involved and will be directly involved in improving the absorption capacity of the community funds. In this respect, the Joint Monitoring Committee Romania – EU periodically analyses the implementation way of the Phare programmes and makes corrective decisions where necessary;

- For ensuring the absorption of the funds allocated through ISPA Programme, the institutional frame necessary for the implementation of this programme has been set. In the same time, Romania transmitted to the European Commission over 20 projects for improving the environmental and transport infrastructure. Is to be mentioned that Romania is placed the first among the candidate countries as regards the transmission of a big number of eligible projects, asking for the Commission’s support for increasing the annual financial allocation.

VI. BORDER CONTROL AND VISA RESTRICTIONS



In order to reach a solution for the resolution of the visas restriction, is necessary a clear commitment of the Government regarding the fight against illegal immigration and residence, including repatriation of illegal residents;

Reinforced visa and passport requirements with some countries of the region will be of utmost importance;

The adoption of programmes for enhancing the capacity of border control is also a key measure for the solution on the visa restriction;

- Romania demonstrated in the last years a strong commitment in relation with combating illegal immigration, in order to become a “pre-Schengen state”;

- Law no. 123/2001 on the status of aliens in Romania regulates in a consistent manner the entrance, residence and exit of aliens in/from Romania; it entered into force on 3 May 2001. The Methodological Norms for implementation of law no. 123/2001 were drafted; they stipulate how the legal provisions are to be implemented;

- In order to bring the legislation in line with the acquis communautaire, it is envisaged to modify the provisions of law no.123/2001, for the legislative establishment of the of the acquis’ principles regarding the limitation of admission of ressortissants (from countries which are not UE member states), for exercising independent professional activities, family union, etc.

- In 1999, the law no. 192 on Romanian citizenship, was adopted; it stipulates that one may renounce the Romanian citizenship if, and only if he/she can prove with official documents that he/she got another citizenship or is about to obtain one;

- The Romanian and German Governments agreed on 15 May 2001 to solve on a bilateral basis the problem of stateless persons having Romanian origin that entered on Germany’s territory between 1989 – 1999;

- The technical documentation for the on-line network for processing of visa applications was finalized in accordance with the approved schedule for the implementation of the technical specifications. In this regard, following the Schengen model, the “Visa application form” was produced and is used by all Romanian diplomatic missions and consulates as of 1 January 2001. During the next stage, based on the information included in the application form, the data base structure for processing will be developed;

- Taking into account the need to control migration in Romania and EU states and considering the target states, Romania selected for the first stage of implementing the on-line data transmission the diplomatic missions and consulates from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Pakistan, China, Jordan, Iraqi, India and Ukraine.

- In the future the network will be extended mainly to the states with migratory potential, and funded from national budget or external sources. The project for the on-line network for visas processing will be corroborated with the introduction of optically readable visa sticker (Schengen model);

- Starting with this July, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova could enter into Romania only based on visas;

- In order to align the negative list of Romania with the one of the EU, Romania will introduce the compulsorily of visas for the Ukrainian and Russian citizens till the end of the current year;

- With EU assistance (twinning with Germany), there were prepared the Law on Romanian state borders and the Law on organization and functioning of the Romanian border police; the adoption of these laws is planned for 2001. By these two draft laws, new terms were introduced in the national legislation: cross-border criminality, under-cover investigators, etc) which contributes to the harmonization with EU standards;

- The border police benefits of a substantial financial support, from both the budget of Romania and the EU. The border passing points from Giurgiu, Petea, Albita, Bors and Nadlac have been modernised. The main European transport corridors were considered as priorities. The international airport Otopeni (Bucharest) has also been modernised to meet the international standards;

- Regarding the training of the Romanian Border Police personnel, starting March 2000 the Twinning Covenant with the Federal Republic of Germany is under implementation. During 2001, a new Covenant will start with Spanish and French authorities;

- During 2000, in the area of bilateral relations, negotiations will start on state border regime with neighbouring countries: Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia;

- The General Inspectorate of Border Police adopted a series of concrete actions in order to combat the cross-border criminality, particularly illegal migration, consisting in:

Reorganizing the border control and surveillance system and introduction of new organizational structures to accomplish specific missions;

Intensifying cooperation actions with other structures of the Ministry of Interior, as well as with other national institutions responsible, in the area of data and information exchange;

Procurement and installation of equipment to detect forgeries and hidden persons in vehicles passing through border points;

Increasing the professionalism of the control and surveillance system through the replacement of conscripts by employed professional border policemen.

- In the area of combating illegal trafficking of persons, statistical data on the evolution of illegal migration in Romania are monthly transmitted to CIREFI. In the relations with this international structure, Romania as a candidate country, has an invitee status which allows her to ensure the participation of national specialists in the periodic meetings CIREFI - candidate states;

- In 2000, the Government of Romania signed readmission agreements concerning nationals and aliens with Denmark, Bulgaria, Finland and India. All these agreements are, at present, ratified by Romania and the system of readmission agreements in force include 18 acts. During the same period of time the Romanian Government signed readmission agreements with the Governments of the Kingdom of Sweden, Croat Republic, Republic of Ireland and Republic of Slovenia – all these being in the ratification procedure. The negotiation of such agreements with further eight states was already approved as well as the schedule to start negotiations with 68 states during the next five years.

- In elaborating the draft readmission agreements, the Romanian authorities are seeking to observe the standards stipulated in the acquis communautaire in the area; in this respect a framework readmission agreement has been prepared. This provides for the readmission not only of the nationals but also of third country citizens who are on the territory of any of the parties to the agreement The only Member States with which Romania has no readmission agreement are the UK and the Republic of Portugal – but negotiations have started; with regard to the candidate countries, negotiations are going to be opened with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

VII. INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL SECURITY


- The rapporteur expresses her concern about the rising number of independent specialized intelligence and security services created in each ministry. Complains have already been made by Romanian citizens on the activity of these services, including the Romanian Intelligence Service.

- Two national intelligence services are operational in Romania: the Romanian Intelligence Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service.

- Specialized intelligence services to address internal needs are established within the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice and the Security and Protection Service. These structures are carrying on activities limited to the specific domains of activities of the institutions they are belonging to, in accordance with the legal acts concerning their organisation and functioning;

- The Parliament is controlling the national information services, by periodic reports issued by these institutions and by the periodic control activities of the specialised parliamentary commissions.








ANEXA 

VISION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF ROMANIA ON THE FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION



The EU enlargement is the greatest challenge of Europe at the beginning of the 21st Century due to the chance to unite a continent where two world wars took place and resulted in losses of millions of human lives in less than 100 years. The EU enlargement is a political imperative.

Romania is a country willing to be part of the European Union. For Romania, integration in the EU means a guarantee of stability, economic growth and performances. The EU enlargement leads to a genuine revolution at the level of the European policies. Romania has enrolled in this irreversible process and takes part in the modernisation required by the integration into the European Union, which entails the general evolution of the whole Romanian society.

Romania’s bid to join the EU is overwhelmingly sustained by citizens (over 80% of the Romanians declare themselves in favour of the country’s admission to the European Union) and the consensus of the Romanian political class, which regards Romania’s accession to the European structures as a fundamental objective of national policy.

For Romanian citizens, as well as for those of the European Union, the identity of the European space is expressed by working places, fighting poverty and social exclusion, decent education, adequate health-care, a common approach of environment protection, of climate change and food security. They also want a Europe more involved in European external affairs, in defence and security problems, in fighting crime and terrorism. Reducing bureaucracy and creating a prosper economy, preserving the identity of the Union’s countries and deepening the integration process are other aims of the citizens of the member and candidate states.

At the end of 2004, concluding the future Intergovernmental Conference is foreseen with the signing of a new treaty or legal fundament of the European Union (in the case in which a thoroughgoing restructuring of the existing treaties is to take place), which could come into force during the year 2006. This means that Romania’s accession may be realized almost in the same time with the European Union’s change, thus the natural interest of the Romanian society to involve in this debate and to contribute with ideas and solutions for a future structure to be part in.

In Romania, the internal debate on the future of Europe has been launched on May 9, 2001. This debate was materialized in contributions of the political factors, of the civil society, of the academic medium, think-tanks and, not lastly, of the citizens that, together, shape the vision of a candidate country, but which aspires to the status of „the smallest country of a large size” in the EU. Under these conditions, the emphasis is on the EU political construction and the sensitive sectors for Romania.

This is the initial position that the Government of Romania reports at the Convention and synthesises the majority of the opinions presented during the public internal debate in 2001. This position is not unilaterally developed but takes into account the diversity of the expressed opinions of those involved in this forum.



1.The future of Europe and the good governance


The European Union reform involves a series of questions related to the governance and the way in which EU uses the power given by the citizens. A good usage of the power involves a close relation of the Union with its citizens and leads to more efficient policies. In order to touch this aim, different political instruments are combined, such as legislation, social dialogue, structural funds and action programs, thus contributing to the strengthening of the Community method. The principles that define the good governance and which should be applied in the functioning of the future EU institutions are: opening the institutions for the public opinion; a participation as large as possible at establishing and implementing policies; a clearer commitment of the responsibilities by all institutions; efficiency, manifested through clear objectives, proportionate implementation of policies and supplying coherence between policies and actions.


In order to succeed in involving citizens in building the future institutions and policies, the civil society has to be co-opted (from NGOs to trade unions and professional associations or religious communities). The civil society regards even greatly Europe as a favorable framework for changing political orientations and society, granting a real possibility to enlarge the debate on Europe’s role. Taking into account the fact that a more efficient involvement means a greater responsibility, the civil society has to follow the principles of good governance, which covers accountability and openness. Under these conditions, re-evaluating the implications of the Economic and Social Committee is necessary and must have an active role in developing a new relationship of mutual responsibility between institutions and civil society.



2. The necessary reforms in the European Union


Romania aspires to a European Union established as a federation of nation-states, built on two pillars (the first, of the Community, consolidated, and the second, inter-governmental, restructured) and as a simultaneous expression of two Unions, as an Economic and Monetary one and as a Political one. This structure has to take into account the fact that the overwhelming majority of the European citizens still have strong feelings for their national identity and are deeply attached to the state to which they belong. National interests still represent a reality in the day-to-day business of the European Union. Under these conditions, the future political Union will have to develop from downward to upward, from citizens to states and from states to the Community, and the procedures of building to be those already efficient in the domains where were applied: the method of co-ordination and enhanced co-operation among the Member States.


3. Reforming the European Union’s institutions


Applying these methods supposes keeping a balance of the European institutions that proved to be efficient in decision-making, in order to raise the legitimacy of these institutions in front of the citizens of the European Union.


The most adequate way to defend the European interests is by increasing the role of the European Commission. The President of this institution should be commonly elected by the European Parliament and the European Council in order to ensure its entire legitimacy in front of the Community. As far as the number of Commissioners is concerned, Romania supports the principle “one state, one Commissioner”. Yet, a limitation of the size of the Commission can be accepted, provided that for the countries that will not have a Commissioner of the respective nationality during a term, some specialized “task-forces” should be created, on specific matters, that have an urgency. As for the Commission’s role as “Guardian of treaties”, in the future, this institution might gain responsibilities, in the line of ensuring the necessary coherence between the intergovernmental and Community sectors”, meaning, inter alia, that the ones responsible for CFSP and JHA in the Commission will be the partners of the High Representative for ESCP, and not his replacers.

The President of the Commission could also receive a role of „facilitator” for unblocking the procedure situations between the Council and the Parliament, when the conciliation procedure has no result. The European Commission should have the monopoly of the legislative initiative in adopting the Community legislation. The Commission should also have an increased role in defining the relations between institutions and their implementation.

The European Parliament should have increased powers through the extension of the co-decision procedure with the Council and to grant the Commission’s President the competence to intervene as a facilitator in case of an institutional blockage. The Parliament could also elect the President of the Commission, by majority, at the proposal of the European Council. The Parliament could also have attributes regarding the budget, through eliminating the difference between the compulsory and non-compulsory expenditures.

As for the National Parliaments, Romania supports the idea of establishing a „Committee of the National Parliaments”, according to the model of the Economic and Social Committee and of the Committee of the Regions. The definition of the role of this new body should start from the model of the future Union. There are two options: a minimal one, consisting in the creation of a new committee with the same position as the previous ones, which will have a consulting role on problems concerning the intergovernmental co-operation (e.g. consultative advice on a European common strategy), and a maximal one, in the sense of providing important competence by taking over some legislative functions from the Council, in co-decision with the European Parliament (e.g. a future joint budget for CFSP).


In Romania’s vision, the Council should continue to be the institution that reflects the interests of the Member States within the Community, but its activity must be rationalized, and its functions must be more clearly defined. In the condition of the developing and strengthening the economic-financial and political-security components, it becomes increasingly difficult for the CAG to co-ordinate the Council’s activity and, in turn, it becomes more convenient to increase the role of the ECOFIN. The two formations appear to be best placed to co-ordinate the Council’s activities according to their individual competences. The Government of Romania considers that the vote with qualified majority should be generalised.

The European Council have to remain the institution which continues to set up the guiding lines of the development of the European Union. The European Council should receive some decision rights in some fields of a strategic interest for the Union and when the situation urges maximum effectiveness, or when the differences between CAG and ECOFIN need an arbitrage. The European Council could promote a multi-annual legislative program, on the recommendation of the Commission and the European Parliament.


4. Assignment of competences on the levels of government


Romania considers that setting up a „catalogue of competences” in order to cover different levels of competences, is not necessary. Assigning competences between the European, national, regional and local level can be made on the principle of the progressive transfer of power from a superior level towards the local levels.


The issue of subsiditarity is the attribute of the member states and is expected to be analysed separately case-by-case, given the fact that the way of operation depends on the economic and social development at a certain moment. But establishing clear mechanisms is necessary in order to allow the ad-hoc delegation of certain competences.


Special commissions of the European Parliament or of the national parliaments could solve the eventual disputes, which can appear as a result of delimitation of the most adequate level of decision-making. Ultimately, the European Court of Justice has the right to control the application of the principle of subsiditarity and proportionality.


Proportionality should remain the basic principle for drawing up a legislative act or promoting a common measure. Every time, the European Union has to choose among more methods and actions, the one, which supplies the greatest freedom for states, natural or legal persons.


Despite all changes that might interfere in the Union, solidarity and equality among the member states must be the fundamentals of the European Union.


5. Common policies

Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)

The Economic and Monetary Union contains the ingredients for the construction of a genuine “Economic Union” of the European countries. On the other hand, the long-term success of the EMU also depends on the evolution of the political union. The political will is crucial for the long-term viability of the economic union.

EMU must be open and remain accessible to future members, especially with regard to the adhesion to the single currency. A main idea of the whole European construction is the unity of the continent.

The principle of equal opportunities – a universal vocation for the policies of the Union – should be applied in all the future evolutions of the EMU. Moreover, in order to remain open to the new members, it is vital that the EMU maintains the principle of equal opportunities, through maintaining the same criteria for the accession to the common currency.

The EMU’s long-term viability, as well as its political and social sustainability require a further harmonization in the area of related economic policies (e.g.fiscal policy). At the same time, for the purpose of preserving consistency, coherence and unity of the European construction, one should also take into consideration the general evolution of the future member states in meeting the convergence criteria.

The only viable scenario, at least on medium-term and in the absence of evolution towards fiscal convergence, is that of monetary and fiscal discipline. In this context, in parallel with the harmonization of some policies such as the taxation, a special attention must be devoted, in the future, to matters concerning the mobility of the labor force and the flexibility of the labor market in the Member States. A high degree of employment and the reduction of negative effects of some asymmetric shocks will contribute, on the other hand, to the increased support of the public opinion for the European construction.

The strategy initiated in Lisbon and completed in Stockholm defines the main general orientations of the economic and social European model. The other coordinates of the future European economic model are the sustainable development and the development of a knowledge-based society (e-Europe).

In the field of environmental protection, Europe has already become a leader. The EU must consolidate this position and react strongly so that its own errors will not be repeated by the developing states.

As far as the third part of the European model is concerned, it is necessary to realise a “technological unity”, by encouraging and managing a sustained flow of technological transfer within the Union, including the future Member States and even those neighboring the EU.

Common agricultural policy (CAP)

The new CAP, as it appears as a result of the latest reform initiated in 1997, is a long-term viable and desirable economic policy. As a principle, Romania excludes taking into account the alternative of renationalizing some parts of the CAP.

A reformed Common Agricultural Policy will reach two objectives: (a) focusing on the function of income redistribution and (b) striking “the negative externalities” of the old ways, by supporting in the future an ecological agriculture, rural development and food safety.

The present moment is characterized by debates referring to the reform of the CAP, the democratisation of the EU and the future of multilateral commercial negotiations. A more accountable Union will make the accomplishment of the CAP reform absolutely necessary. In this context, there is the opportunity for the candidate states to directly apply a CAP built on the new principles, without applying the policies and the methods that have been applied in the past and now prove to be wrong. Such an evolution would certainly be in Romania’s advantage.

To the same effect, it is necessary that the future WTO negotiation rounds should take into account the realities of the new member states. At the internal level, Romania wishes to harmonize its agricultural reforms to the directing lines of the new Common Agricultural Policy, even since the moment of the its structuring, in order to efficiently integrate the Romanian agriculture into the European one from the accession date.

Structural and cohesion funds

With regard to the structural policies, Romania supports the preservation of the present level of nationalisation. Structural intervention is absolutely necessary for the preservation of economic and social cohesion in an enlarged Europe, where the member states stick to the same parameters and the same economic policies. The aspect concerning redistribution under the conditions of an Economic and Monetary Union is vital, as it is the principle of European solidarity to remain at the origin of these policies.

The present instruments in the field of structural funds are sufficiently elaborated. New instruments are not necessary, but the old ones must be adapted to the specific needs of the future members. Romania supports the adoption of the Community method concerning the subsiditarity principle.

In this respect, it is necessary to emphasize the role of structural funds in the promotion and capitalization of the human resources and the flexibility of the labor market, simultaneously with the stimulation of the private sector to become involved in the physical infrastructure projects (transports, environment). The future policy will have to place an emphasis on the technological factor that has not only a regional, but also a European dimension, which is crucial for the success of the social-economic European model.

The technological dimension has to become more present in labour market policies. A better correlation between the cohesion policy and the research policies that stress the promotion of the principle of excellency is desirable.

Common trade policy

The trade policy has to remain consistent with the other Community policies, in a temporal and geographical approach.

Romania supports the activity within the WTO as a legitimate channel for the management of globalization, provided it will take into account the social and economic fundamental interests of the new member states. The reflection process could elaborate more on the new concept of “controlled globalization”.

Common Foreign and Security Policy

The main problems encountered by the Union in promoting a genuine Common Foreign and Security Policy consisted mainly in the institutional lacks (the problem was not necessarily the absence of the framework or institutional incoherence, but mainly the insufficient exploitation of the existing framework), and also the absence of a clear and structured vision regarding the relations with the main international actors, such as the USA, Russia, China. The CFSP will remain to a high degree intergovernmental, especially as a result of ESDP, but the Commission should also be associated to a greater extent to the implementation of the policies.

The EU is not only a regional power, but in many fields it has the potential to distinguish itself as a global power. Europe should develop in the world stage the following parameters: the closest ally of the USA, Russia’s connection to the community of free, democratic states, and a commercial and financial giant (through Euro) in all the areas of the world. But Europe should, at the same time, remain faithful to its methods of external promotion of its values, by the well-known preventive actions, a greater concentration on the development policies and commerce (CPA agreements with the developing countries) and a greater focus on multilateralism and its methods and organizations.

The European Union seems to benefit from the fact that there is no dominant tendency within the “15”. On the contrary, the Member States, especially the medium and small ones, seem to concentrate on certain fields of external policy where they have tradition, expertise and certain interests. This way to conduct foreign policy avoids resorting to the traditional interests of balance of power, as it occurred so often during the past. This was obvious in the Balkans in the 90’s. These main characteristics are a part of EU’s political identity. Through enlargement, the CFSP features will get consolidated. Romania considers that, during next IGC, a special attention should be given to the EU external actions and geographical limits. Even if these actions do not belong to the Convention activity, they should be an advantage for a subsidiary approach of this issue.

Justice and Home Affairs

Romania supports the need to develop a common area of freedom, security and justice, but also to preserve the balance between the three components, especially with regard to freedom and security.

The main component should be the barometer of this area, through the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The role of EU in establishing the political, economic and social rights has been enforced with the introduction of the “European citizenship”, and is a legitimate one. With the development of this field, we will possibly witness the gradual merger of the third pillar with the other two pillars.

From the point of view of implementing the security and justice components, it is necessary to strengthen the role of Europol and to integrate it in the Community Pillar, as well as to create a European Prosecutor’s Office.

Romania considers as extremely important to create a single European border police, necessarily accompanied by a common financing instrument. Under the conditions of Romania becoming the external border of EU, it is necessary for the country to take parte to developing JHA policies. In order to accomplish the transparency of the EU policy, implementing co-decision procedures concerning border control issues, asylum, visas, migration, judicial and administrative cooperation, would be mutually beneficial.


6. The European Constitution issue


Romania is seeing the issue of restructuring the Treaties in a favourable light and asserts the necessity of a European Constitution or a Constitutional Treaty of the EU. Romania also supports the idea of separating the primary EU legislation into two parts: one fundamental part as a Constitution, containing the Treaties, and another part including the current policies. Thus, the Constitution/the Constitutional Treaty should be revised through a special procedure, by all Member States and only after general direct consultations of the European citizens, while the technical provisions could be modified through a simplified procedure.

The additional treaties resulting from this exercise and synthesising the larger part of the acquis, should follow a different revising procedure, simpler and more flexible. However, it is extremely important that such a step affects neither the substance of the acquis, nor the common policies.

This Constitution should include, in corpore, the current Charter of Fundamental Rights, which should consolidate the Political Union and the European Identity of citizens. In certain Member States, provisions of this document adopted in 2000 are already in force, which makes this Charter able to progressively gain judicial force. Adopting the Charter as a part of the acquis will only have to be made in the framework of a Constitution.
















































































































































“Enlargement is both an historic opportunity and an obligation for the European Union and so is one of our highest priorities. Our success in concluding this crucial undertaking, on which we have embarked together with the candidate countries, will depend on the vitality and rigor of our collective efforts and on engaging the support of the population, both in the candidate countries and in the current EU Member States. Enlargement must be duly prepared, and can be successful only if it has democratic support. While much progress has already been achieved, very considerable and determined efforts are still required to bring the process to its conclusion. But the way ahead is clear. The process has become irreversible and the benefits of enlargement are already visible”


Günter Verheugen, Member of the European Commission responsible for Enlargement






























































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