During a visit to Sofia, Olli Rehn said there were serious concerns about the rule of law in Bulgaria, which hopes to join the EU with neighbouring Romania. If Bulgaria fails to get results, EU entry could be delayed until 2008. Mr Rehn said accession in 2007 was "achievable". He is due to report his recommendations to the EU on 16 May. Romania has been praised for progress in the judiciary and the fight against corruption, but as in Bulgaria, there are concerns about issues such as people trafficking.
Mr Rehn said Bulgaria needed to show tangible results in fighting high-level corruption "to show that nobody is above the law". Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev highlighted a number of ongoing investigations against top criminal suspects to Mr Rehn. He told him that his government would do its utmost in the weeks remaining before the May report. "Our aim is quite achievable if we continue the same speed of reforms. We are not going to stop," Mr Stanishev said. Ten countries joined the EU in 2004, bringing the total number of member states to 25.
BBCGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16