No delay in Romania joining EU: Schroeder

3rd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 June 2005, BERLIN - German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Friday that rejection by French and Dutch voters of the European Union constitution this week must not be used as a pretext to delay Romanian and Bulgarian accession to the bloc.

3 June 2005

BERLIN - German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Friday that rejection by French and Dutch voters of the European Union constitution this week must not be used as a pretext to delay Romanian and Bulgarian accession to the bloc.

Schroeder, speaking at a joint news conference with Romanian prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, said "not a few" of the 25 EU member states saw rejection of the constitution as a reason to delay membership of both countries.

"I firmly belong to the group which holds this to be wrong," said Schroeder.

The German leader underlined that Romania still had to make progress in judicial reform and in fighting corruption in order to meet EU criteria to join the 25-nation bloc.

"There are still deficits but I understand the government's firm will to overcome them," said the Chancellor.

Prime Minister Tariceanu said his country was determined to enter the EU on 1 January 2007, as agreed with Brussels.

Germany's opposition Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU), which leads Schroeder in opinion polls in the race to autumn general elections, has said it wants to wait until a final November progress report on Romania and Bulgaria before voting in the German parliament on whether both states should join the EU in 2007.

DPA

Subject: German news

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