MONITORING REPORT BULGARIA MAY 2006
|COMMITMENTS AND REQUIREMENTS ARISING FROM THE ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS|
The accession negotiations with Bulgaria were successfully concluded in December 2004. The Accession Treaty was signed in April 2005. Bulgaria and 14 Member States have already ratified it. The Treaty envisages accession on 1 January 2007 unless the Council decides, upon a Commission recommendation, to postpone it until 1 January 2008.
Following the conclusion of the negotiations, the European Union decided that it would continue closely to monitor Bulgaria's preparations and achievements and that, to this end, the Commission would continue to submit annual reports on Bulgaria's progress towards accession, together with recommendations, if appropriate.
The Commission presented its first such report in October 2005. This report showed that Bulgaria was already well advanced in preparing for accession. It also identified a number of areas where further efforts were needed to complete preparations. The Commission decided to step up its monitoring activities and report again in spring 2006.
This report reviews Bulgaria's preparations for membership, focusing on the areas in need of further improvement in the light of the three Copenhagen accession criteria. Accordingly, the report contains three main parts:
- The first part assesses political issues which were identified as in need of further improvement.
- The second part assesses economic issues which were identified as in need of further improvement.
- The third part assesses where Bulgaria stands in implementing commitments and requirements arising from the accession negotiations.
The report identifies the progress made since October 2005 and the gaps in policies, legislation and implementation which remain to be addressed. On this basis the Commission examines, in a separate Communication presented together with this report, whether or not it needs to recommend postponement of the accession date.
This report reflects the situation at the end of April 2006. It is based on a wide array of sources. Bulgaria was invited to provide information on its state of preparedness. The report also draws on information provided within the framework of the Association Agreement and on peer reviews conducted to assess Bulgaria’s administrative capacity in specific areas. Council deliberations and European Parliament reports and resolutions have been taken into account. Where relevant, the Commission has also drawn on assessments made by various international organisations, international financial institutions and non-governmental organisations.
1.Peer reviews are assessments made by experts of Member States on the state of preparedness of the candidate countries in specific sectors. These experts are responsible for the content of their reports.
2.The rapporteur is Mr van Orden.