Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Conservatives welcome EU green light to Romania

13th April 2005

Romania's accession to the European Union in 2007 will finally restore the country to the family of free democratic nations from which it was forcibly excluded following the post-1945 division of Europe, Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman in the European Parliament, Dr Charles Tannock MEP, said today.

Dr Tannock made his comments to a visiting Romanian parliamentary delegation in Strasbourg after the European Parliament's decision to approve Romania's application for membership of the EU. Barring any last-minute hitches, Romania will join the EU on 1 January 2007, at the same time as Bulgaria.

Dr Tannock said:

"Romania suffered under a brutal communist dictatorship for decades. The Parliament's assent to Romania's application shows just how far the country has come since Ceaucescu was overthrown in 1989.

The new government of Romania under President Basescu is redoubling its efforts to fight corruption by making it a crime against Romania's national security.

Strenuous efforts are also being made to improve the standards of public administration and enforcement of EU environmental and consumer protection legislation, minority rights and strengthen the independence of the judiciary.

Nevertheless, the European Parliament will remain fully involved in monitoring Romania's progress over the next 20 months before formal accession and the Commission is committed to consult the Parliament in the unlikely event of activating the one year delay safeguard clause.

Romania is a loyal member of NATO, has a strongly Atlanticist perspective and is committed to free market and tax reforms, all of which Conservative MEPs support."