- Title: VARIOUS: Bulgaria and Romania prepare for EU accession
- Date: 1st January 2007
- Summary: LARGE BALLOON INFLATING IN SOFIA SOUTH PARK (SOUNDBITE)(Bulgarian) VESKA, PASSER-BY, SAYING: "We all can't wait for joining to become a fact and we expect positive developments." (SOUNDBITE)(Bulgarian) DIMITAR, PASSER-BY, SAYING: "The Bulgarians waited for a long time for this moment and I expect all Bulgarian people to feel better." HOT AIR BALLOON IN FIELD
- Reuters ID: LVA3541Q8HFC3Y5YLEEL278JXHMZ
- Duration: 00:00:26
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: European Union
- Story Text: Black Sea neighbours Romania and Bulgaria planned all-night parties on Sunday (December 31) to celebrate joining the European Union when the clocks ring in the New Year.
The two relatively poor countries feel relieved to join a club which is expanding to 27 nations and is increasingly reluctant to let anyone else in. Ten of those members are countries once cut off from the West behind the Iron Curtain.
The addition of the two nations follows the EU's historic expansion in 2004 when it admitted 10 states most of them from former communist central and eastern Europe.
Some west Europeans are worried the bloc may have overstretched itself.
They fear enlargement may hurt their job prospects or even bring more crime if, for example, drug smuggling and people trafficking, rife around the Black Sea, spread to the West.
Other EU hopefuls such as former Yugoslav states, Albania and Turkey are likely to face a long wait for membership.
Romania -- the larger of the two -- and Bulgaria will together boost the EU's population by 30 million, to 490 million, but will add just one percent to its economic output.
The EU's borders will stretch from the Atlantic and Baltic in the west and north to the Black Sea in the southeast.
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- Embargoed:16th January 2007 12:00
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