2007 enlargement of the European Union

The 2007 enlargement of the European Union saw Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union (EU) on 1 January 2007. Together with the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, it is considered part of the fifth wave of enlargement of the European Union.[1]

EU27-2007 European Union map enlargement
Pre-2007 EU-25 in blue and the members who joined in 2007 in yellow.

Negotiations

Romania was the first country of post-communist Europe to have official relations with the European Community. In 1974, a treaty included Romania in the Community's Generalized System of Preferences. Since the Romanian Revolution of 1989, membership of the EC, and its successor the European Union (EU), has been the main goal of every Romanian Government and practically every political party in Romania. Romania signed its Europe Agreement in 1993,[2] and submitted its official application for membership in the EU on 22 June 1995 and Bulgaria submitted its official application for membership in the EU on 14 December 1995, the third and the fourth of the post–communist European countries to do so after Hungary and Poland. Along with its official EU application, Romania submitted the Snagov Declaration, signed by all fourteen major political parties declaring their full support for EU membership.[3]

During the 2000s, Bulgaria and Romania implemented a number of reforms to prepare for EU accession, including the consolidation of its democratic systems, the institution of the rule of law, the acknowledgement of respect for human rights, the commitment to personal freedom of expression, and the implementation of a functioning free-market economy. The objective of joining the EU has also influenced Romania's regional relations. As a result, Bulgaria and Romania have imposed visa regimes on a number of states, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey and Moldova.

Within the framework of integration meetings held between the EU member states and the EU candidate states Bulgaria and Romania, an 'Association Committee' was held on 22 June 2004. It confirmed overall good progress for the preparation of accession; however, it highlighted the need for further reform of judicial structures in both Bulgaria and Romania, particularly in its pre-trial phases, as well as the need for further efforts to fight against political corruption and organized crime, including human trafficking. The findings were reflected in the 2004 Regular Report for Bulgaria and Romania.[4]

The Brussels European Council of December 17, 2004 confirmed the conclusion of accession negotiations with Bulgaria and Romania.[5] The 26 September 2006 of the European Commission[6] confirmed the date once more, also announcing that Bulgaria and Romania would meet no direct restrictions, but progress in certain areas — reforms of the judicial system, elimination of corruption and the struggle against organized crime — would be strictly monitored.

Cyrillic

EUR 5 obverse (2013 issue)
5 euro note from the new Europa series written in Latin (EURO) and Greek (ΕΥΡΩ) alphabets, but also in the Cyrillic (ЕВРО) alphabet, as a result of Bulgaria joining the European Union in 2007.

With this accession, Cyrillic became the third official alphabet of the EU, after the Latin and Greek alphabets.[7] Cyrillic will also be featured on the euro banknotes and the national (obverse) side of the Bulgarian euro coins. The ECB and the EU Commission insisted that Bulgaria change the official name of the currency from ЕВРО (EVRO) (as accepted) to ЕУРО (EURO), claiming that the currency should have a standard spelling and pronunciation across the EU.[8] For details, see Linguistic issues concerning the euro. The issue was decisively resolved in favour of Bulgaria at the 2007 EU Summit in Lisbon, allowing Bulgaria to use the Cyrillic spelling евро on all official EU documents.[9][10]

Treaty

The date of accession, 1 January 2007, was set at the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003 and confirmed in Brussels on 18 June 2004. Bulgaria, Romania and the EU-25 signed the Treaty of Accession on 25 April 2005 at Luxembourg's Neumuenster Abbey.

The 26 September 2006 monitoring report of the European Commission confirmed the entry date as 1 January 2007. The last instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Accession was deposited with the Italian government on 20 December 2006 thereby ensuring it came into force on 1 January 2007.

Work restrictions

Some member states of the EU required Bulgarians and Romanians to acquire a permit to work, whilst members of all other old member states did not require one. In the Treaty of Accession 2005, there was a clause about a transition period so each old EU member state could impose such 2+3+2 transitional periods. Restrictions were planned to remain in place until 1 January 2014 – 7 years after their accession.[11][12][13]

Establishment of rights of EU nationals of Bulgaria and Romania to work in another EU member state
Another EU member state Bulgaria Romania
Finland 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Sweden 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Cyprus 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Estonia 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Latvia 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Lithuania 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Poland 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Czech Republic 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Slovakia 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Slovenia 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Portugal 1 January 2009 1 January 2009
Spain 1 January 2009 1 January 2009 (reintroduced on 1 January 2011 and removed on 1 January 2014)
Greece 1 January 2009 1 January 2009
Denmark 1 January 2009 1 January 2009
Hungary 1 January 2009 1 January 2009
Italy 1 January 2012 1 January 2012
Ireland 1 January 2012 1 January 2012
France 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Germany 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Austria 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Belgium 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Netherlands 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Luxembourg 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
United Kingdom 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Malta 1 January 2014 1 January 2014

Remaining areas of inclusion

Bulgaria and Romania became members on 1 January 2007, but some areas of cooperation in the European Union will apply to Bulgaria and Romania at a later date. These are:

Monitoring

While both countries were admitted, concerns about corruption and organised crime were still high. As a result, although they joined, they were subject to monitoring from the European Commission through a Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification (CVM) . It was initially set up for three years after the accession but has continued indefinitely and although it has highlighted the corruption and applied some pressure to continue reforms, it has not succeeded in forcing the two countries to complete reforms and corruption persists.[14][15]

Commissioners

The accession treaty granted Bulgaria and Romania a seat, like every other state, on the Commission. Bulgaria nominated Meglena Kuneva, from NDSV who was given the post of Commissioner for Consumer Protection in the Barroso Commission, from 1 January 2007 until 31 October 2009. She was nominated in 2006 by the then current Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev. Romania nominated Leonard Orban, an independent, who was made Commissioner for Multilingualism in the Barroso Commission, from 1 January 2007 until 31 October 2009. He was nominated in 2006 by the previous Romanian Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu. Both were approved by Parliament to become Commissioners upon accession.

MEPs

Upon accession Bulgaria's 18 and Romania's 35 observer MEPs became full voting representatives until each state held an election for the posts, which were mandated to happen before the end of the year. Bulgaria held its election on 20 May 2007 and Romania on 25 November 2007.

See also

References

  1. ^ Enlargement, 3 years after Archived 25 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Europa (web portal)
  2. ^ Chronology of the Fifth EU Enlargement, Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom
  3. ^ Melanie H. Ram, Ph.D., Sub-regional Cooperation and European Integration: Romania’s Delicate Balance
  4. ^ 2004 Regular Report
  5. ^ Brussels European Council of December 17 2004
  6. ^ monitoring report
  7. ^ Leonard Orban (24 May 2007). "Cyrillic, the third official alphabet of the EU, was created by a truly multilingual European" (PDF). europe.eu. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Николай Василев ще брани в Брюксел изписването "евро" вместо "еуро"" (in Bulgarian). Mediapool.bg. 7 November 2006. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
  9. ^ "Bulgaria wins victory in "evro" battle". Reuters. 18 October 2007.
  10. ^ "Evro" dispute over - Portuguese foreign minister | The Sofia Echo
  11. ^ "4 EU nations ease work restrictions on new members". Associated Press. 8 January 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2008.
  12. ^ See also: Freedom of movement for workers
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ EU commission defends Romania-Bulgaria monitoring project EUObserver, March 2010; Bulgaria and Romania in trouble for a too fast EU integration. EuropaRussia, September 2010.
  15. ^ EU Observer, 4 January 2011
1973 enlargement of the European Communities

The 1973 enlargement of the European Communities was the first enlargement of the European Communities (EC), now the European Union (EU). Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom (UK) acceded to the EC on 1 January 1973. Gibraltar and Greenland also joined the EC as part of the United Kingdom and Denmark respectively, but the Faroe Islands, the British Overseas Territories and the Crown dependencies of the United Kingdom did not join the EC.

Ireland and Denmark both held referenda in 1972 in May and October respectively, and the UK held a referendum in 1975, on membership of the EC, all which approved membership of the EC. Norway planned to accede, but this was rejected in a referendum held in September 1972. Norway later reapplied to join, but voters again rejected the proposal in a 1994 referendum.

Greenland later withdrew from the EC on 1 January 1985 after a referendum in 1982. This was followed by the UK holding a referendum in 2016 on membership which resulted in the United Kingdom voting to leave the now EU.

1981 enlargement of the European Communities

The 1981 enlargement of the European Communities was the second enlargement of what is now the European Union, then the European Communities (EC). Greece acceded to the EEC on 1 January 1981. It is considered a part of the Mediterranean enlargement.

1986 enlargement of the European Communities

The 1986 enlargement of the European Communities was the third enlargement of what is now the European Union, then the European Communities (EC). Spain and Portugal acceded to the EC on 1 January 1986. It is considered a part of the Mediterranean enlargement.

1995 enlargement of the European Union

The 1995 enlargement of the European Union saw Austria, Finland, and Sweden accede to the European Union (EU). This was the EU's fourth enlargement and came into effect on 1 January of that year. All these states were previous members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and had traditionally been less interested in joining the EU than other European countries. Norway had negotiated to join alongside the other three but following the signing of the treaty, membership was turned down by the Norwegian electorate in the 1994 national referendum. Switzerland also applied for membership on 26 May 1992, but withdrew it after a negative referendum result on 6 December 1992 (and that was not changed after a second negative referendum result on 4 March 2001).

2004 enlargement of the European Union

The 2004 enlargement of the European Union was the largest single expansion of the European Union (EU), in terms of territory, number of states, and population to date; however, it was not the largest in terms of gross domestic product. It occurred on 1 May 2004.

The simultaneous accessions concerned the following countries (sometimes referred to as the "A10" countries): Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Seven of these were part of the former Eastern Bloc (of which three were from the former Soviet Union and four were and still are members of the Central European alliance Visegrád Group), one of the former Yugoslavia (together sometimes referred to as the "A8" countries), and the remaining two were Mediterranean islands and former British colonies.

Part of the same wave of enlargement was the accession of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007, who were unable to join in 2004, but, according to the Commission, constitute part of the fifth enlargement.

2013 enlargement of the European Union

The 2013 enlargement of the European Union saw Croatia join the European Union as its 28th member state on 1 July 2013.

The country applied for EU membership in 2003, and the European Commission recommended making it an official candidate in early 2004. Candidate country status was granted to Croatia by the European Council in mid-2004. The entry negotiations, while originally set for March 2005, began in October that year together with the screening process.

The accession process of Croatia was complicated by the insistence of Slovenia, an EU member state, that the two countries' border issues be dealt with prior to Croatia's accession to the EU. Croatian public opinion was generally supportive of the EU accession process, despite occasional spikes in euroscepticism.

Croatia finished accession negotiations on 30 June 2011, and on 9 December 2011, signed the Treaty of Accession. A referendum on EU accession was held in Croatia on 22 January 2012, with 66% of participants voting in favour of joining the Union. The ratification process was concluded on 21 June 2013, and entry into force and accession of Croatia to the EU took place on 1 July 2013.

Adrian Năstase

Adrian Năstase (Romanian pronunciation: [adriˈan nəsˈtase]; born 22 June 1950) is a Romanian former politician who was the Prime Minister of Romania from December 2000 to December 2004.

He competed in the 2004 presidential election as the Social Democratic Party (PSD) candidate, but was defeated by centre-right Justice and Truth (DA) Alliance candidate Traian Băsescu.

He was the President of the Chamber of Deputies from 21 December 2004 until 15 March 2006, when he resigned due to corruption charges. Sentenced to two years in prison in July 2012, he attempted suicide before beginning his term in the penitentiary. Released in March 2013, he was sentenced to four years in another case in January 2014, but released that August.

Bulgaria–Greece relations

Bulgaria–Greece relations refer to bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Greece.

Due to the strong political, cultural and religious ties between the two nations, (the majority of Bulgarians and Greeks practice the Eastern Orthodox faith), Greece and Bulgaria today enjoy excellent diplomatic relations and consider each other a friendly nation.Greece is a strong supporter of Bulgaria's Euro-Atlantic integration and entry to the Schengen Area. Bulgaria and Greece share common political views about the Balkans, the enlargement plans of the European Union and the rest of the world, with the first being a supporter of the latter's stance on the Macedonia Naming Dispute. Modern relations between the two countries were established in 1908 and are regarded as excellent despite Axis occupation of Greece along with Germany and Italy during World War II.

EU 27

EU 27 may refer to:

European Union (in the period 2007–2013 when it had 27 countries, or the countries that were members then)

2007 enlargement of the European Union

From 2016, the 27 European Union countries involved in Brexit negotiations; in other words, the EU except for the UK

European Economic Area

The European Economic Area (EEA), which was established via the EEA Agreement in 1992, is an international agreement which enables the extension of the European Union (EU)'s single market to non-EU member parties. The EEA links the European Union member states and three European Free Trade Association states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) into an internal market governed by the same basic rules. These rules aim to enable free movement of labour, goods, services, and capital within the European Single Market, including the freedom to choose residence in any country within this area. The EEA was established on 1 January 1994 upon entry into force of the EEA Agreement. The contracting parties are the European Union (EU), its member states, and three EFTA member states.However, the EEA Treaty is a commercial treaty and differs from the EU Treaties in certain key respects. The EFTA members do not participate in the Common Agricultural Policy or the Common Fisheries Policy. According to Article 1 its purpose is to "promote a continuous and balanced strengthening of trade and economic relation." Unlike the EU Treaties, there is no mention of "ever closer union".

The right to free movement of persons between EEA member states and the relevant provisions on safeguard measures are identical to those applying between members of the European Union. The right and rules applicable in all EEA member states, including those which are not members of the EU, are specified in Directive 2004/38/EC and in the Agreement on the European Economic Area. The EEA Agreement specifies that membership is open to member states of either the European Union or European Free Trade Association (EFTA). EFTA states which are party to the EEA Agreement participate in the EU's internal market without being members of the EU or the European Union Customs Union. They adopt most EU legislation concerning the single market, with notable exclusions including laws regarding the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy. The EEA's "decision-shaping" processes enable EEA EFTA member states to influence and contribute to new EEA policy and legislation from an early stage. Third country goods are excluded for these states on rules of origin.

When entering into force in 1994, the EEA parties were 17 states and two European Communities: the European Community, which was later absorbed into the EU's wider framework, and the now defunct European Coal and Steel Community. Membership has grown to 31 states as of 2016: 28 EU member states, as well as three of the four member states of the EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The Agreement is applied provisionally with respect to Croatia—the remaining and most recent EU member state—pending ratification of its accession by all EEA parties. One EFTA member, Switzerland, has not joined the EEA, but has a series of bilateral agreements with the EU which allow it also to participate in the internal market.

Immigration to Europe

Immigration to Europe has a long history, but increased substantially in the later 20th century.

Western European countries, especially, saw a high growth in immigration after World War II and many European nations today (particularly those of the EU-15) have sizeable immigrant populations, both of European and non-European origin. In contemporary globalization, migrations to Europe have accelerated in speed and scale. Over the last decades, there has been an increase in negative attitudes towards immigration, and many studies have emphasized marked differences in the strength of anti-immigrant attitudes among European countries.Beginning in 2004, the European Union has granted

EU citizens a freedom of movement and residence within the EU, and the term "immigrant" has since been used to refer to non EU citizens, meaning that EU citizens are not to be defined as immigrants within the EU territory. The European commission defines "immigration" as the action by which a person from a non-EU country establishes his or her usual residence in the territory of an EU country for a period that is, or is expected to be, at least twelve months. Between 2010 and 2013, around 1.4 million non-EU nationals, excluding asylum seekers and refugees, immigrated into the EU each year using regular means, with a slight decrease since 2010.In 2015 the number of asylum seekers arriving from outside Europe increased substantially during the European migrant crisis (see timeline).

Osterweiterung

Osterweiterung is the German term for the

2004 enlargement of the European Union. Seldom, the 2007 enlargement of the European Union is also included.

Sometimes, the term names the NATO enlargement ("NATO-Osterweiterung") : some new countries came in 1999, some in 2004 and some in 2009.

Revolutions of 1989

The Revolutions of 1989 formed part of a revolutionary wave in the late 1980s and early 1990s that resulted in the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. The period is sometimes called the Fall of Nations or the Autumn of Nations, a play on the term Spring of Nations that is sometimes used to describe the Revolutions of 1848.

The events of the full-blown revolution first began in Poland in 1989 and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania. One feature common to most of these developments was the extensive use of campaigns of civil resistance, demonstrating popular opposition to the continuation of one-party rule and contributing to the pressure for change. Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country whose citizens overthrew its Communist regime violently. Protests in Tiananmen Square (April–June 1989) failed to stimulate major political changes in China, but influential images of courageous defiance during that protest helped to precipitate events in other parts of the globe. On 4 June 1989, the trade union Solidarity won an overwhelming victory in a partially free election in Poland, leading to the peaceful fall of Communism in that country in the summer of 1989. Also in June 1989, Hungary began dismantling its section of the physical Iron Curtain, leading to an exodus of East Germans through Hungary, which destabilised East Germany. This led to mass demonstrations in cities such as Leipzig and subsequently to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, which served as the symbolic gateway to German reunification in 1990.

The Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, resulting in eleven new countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan), which had declared their independence from the Soviet Union in the course of the year, while the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) regained their independence in September 1991. The rest of the Soviet Union, which constituted the bulk of the area, became the Russian Federation in December 1991. Albania and Yugoslavia abandoned Communism between 1990 and 1992. By 1992, Yugoslavia had split into five successor states, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was later renamed Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 and eventually split in 2006 into two states, Serbia and Montenegro. Serbia was then further split with the breakaway of the partially recognised state of Kosovo in 2008. Czechoslovakia dissolved three years after the end of Communist rule, splitting peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992. The impact of these events was felt in many Socialist countries. Communism was abandoned in countries such as Cambodia (1991), Ethiopia (1990), Mongolia (which in 1990 democratically re-elected a Communist government that ran the country until 1996) and South Yemen (1990).

During the adoption of varying forms of market economy, there was a general decline in living standards for many former Communist countries. Political reforms were varied, but in only four countries were Communist parties able to retain a monopoly on power, namely China, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam (North Korea went through a constitutional change in 2009 that made it nominally no longer Communist, but still de facto organised on Stalinist lines). Many communist and socialist organisations in the West turned their guiding principles over to social democracy and democratic socialism. Communist parties in Italy and San Marino suffered and the reformation of the Italian political class took place in the early 1990s. In South America, the Pink tide began with Venezuela in 1999 and swept through the early 2000s. The European political landscape changed drastically, with several former Eastern Bloc countries joining NATO and the European Union, resulting in stronger economic and social integration with Western Europe and the United States.

Tashkopryu Mosque

Tashkyopryu Mosque (Bulgarian: Ташкьопрю джамия Tashkyopryu Dzhamiya, Turkish: Taşköprü Camii) is a mosque in Plovdiv, Bulgaria , built by Ottoman Turks in 16th century during their 500-year rule in today's Bulgaria. It is currently the third mosque in Plovdiv which is in good condition after Dzhumaya Mosque and Imaret Mosque. It is currently inactive despite efforts and demands, mainly by Turks of Bulgaria, to give active status for it.

Treaty of Accession 2005

The Treaty of Accession 2005 is an agreement between the member states of European Union and Bulgaria and Romania. It entered into force on 1 January 2007. The Treaty arranged accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU and amended earlier Treaties of the European Union. As such it is an integral part of the constitutional basis of the European Union.

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