The Romanian government has proposed its own road map to conclude accession negotiations in the first half of 2004 and join the EU in 2007.
The Enlargement Commissioner Günther Verheugen has announced that the European Council in Copenhagen will issue a revised pre-accession programme for Bulgaria and Romania for their accession negotiations after 2004. Bulgaria has closed 21 negotiating chapters, but Romania only 13, and Bulgaria has recently made more progress than Romania, according to EU diplomats.
Both countries lag behind in implementation of macro economic reforms that would allow long-term growth and improve living standards. The two countries are among the poorest in Europe: the average monthly income in Bulgaria is around 125 euro, and in Romania around 100 euro.
The EU is also concerned with widespread corruption in both countries.