Bulgaria running late on EU deadlines

Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev made an urgent visit to Brussels on 29 August 2005, to convince the Commission that his country will make up for a backlash in transposing crucial EU legislation.

Mr. Stanishev, who was accompanied by a delegation including Foreign Affairs Minister Ivaylo Kalfin and European Affairs  Minister Meglena Kuneva, met Commission President José Manuel Barroso and the Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, Günter Verheugen, for Taxation and Customs Union, Laszlo Kovacs, and for Energy, Andris Piebalgs. 

Before leaving, Mr. Kalfin said the delegation’s main goal was “to demonstrate the determination of the parliamentary majority and the government to meet its EU entry commitments”. Not an easy task, according to the foreign affairs minister: Bulgaria has to transpose no less than 36 EU laws, 22 of which are considered crucial by the Commission, before October in order to meet EU deadlines. Another 14 laws need to be transposed before the end of the year if Bulgaria is to join the EU on 1 January 2007. 

The Commission says a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s judicial system is needed before its accession to the EU. 

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