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Procedure : 2005/2205(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A6-0344/2005

Texts tabled :

A6-0344/2005

Debates :

PV 14/12/2005 - 14

Votes :

PV 15/12/2005 - 5.22

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2005)0531

Texts adopted
DOC 50k
Thursday, 15 December 2005 - Strasbourg Final edition
Romania
P6_TA(2005)0531A6-0344/2005

European Parliament resolution on the extent of Romania's readiness for accession to the European Union (2005/2205(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Presidency conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 16 and 17 December 2004,

–   having regard to the Treaty of Accession to the European Union signed by Romania on 25 April 2005,

–   having regard to the regular reports of the Commission on the progress made by Romania towards accession, covering the years 1998 to 2004, and the Commission's strategy document on the progress made in the process of enlargement (COM(2004)0657),

–   having regard to all its resolutions and previous reports, from the beginning of the accession process to date,

–   having regard to the general progress report of 25 October 2005 on the extent of the readiness of Bulgaria and Romania for accession to the European Union (COM(2005)0534),

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0344/2005),

A.   whereas in 2000 Romania and Bulgaria were among the candidate countries for accession alongside other countries which have since become members, and whereas the fifth enlargement of the European Union was not complete and should be finalised, in the interests of Romania and the Union and in compliance with the commitments made on both sides,

B.   whereas signature of the Treaty of Accession opened up a new phase in Romania's accession to the Union, whereas Romania is now participating in the work of the European Council and of the Council as an observer, and whereas 35 Romanian observers began working with Parliament on 26 September 2005,

C.   whereas significant improvements can be seen to have been achieved since the Commission's last report,

D.   whereas progress in certain areas has not been satisfactory, and whereas Romania must take immediate steps to make good these shortcomings in order to join the Union on 1 January 2007,

E.   whereas the prospect of accession acts as a powerful catalyst for reform by mobilising the various actors in political, economic, social and civil life,

F.   whereas the actual date of accession will be determined on the basis of a Commission recommendation after rigorous analysis of Romania's state of readiness,

1.  Reaffirms that Romania's accession is a common objective of the Union and of Romania, making it possible, together with the accession of Bulgaria, to complete the fifth enlargement of the Union which began with the great liberation movement in central and eastern Europe;

2.  Maintains that it wishes to see Romania and Bulgaria join the Union on 1 January 2007, in so far as the conditions laid down in the Treaty of Accession are fulfilled by each of those two countries;

3.  Recalls the exchange of letters between the President of the European Parliament and the President of the Commission on the full association of the European Parliament with any consideration of activation of one of the safeguard clauses in the Treaty of Accession; n otes that Parliament will take a position on these issues and especially the timing of accession, in the light of the state of implementation of the necessary reforms, in particular of the requirements of membership regarding the judiciary system and the fight against corruption, and on the basis of the Commission's detailed assessment of the situation next spring; therefore expects the Commission and Romania to work closely with Parliament in this regard;

4.  Also expresses its wish that the accession of Romania and Bulgaria should take place in solidarity, while emphasising that the applications of both countries must ultimately be considered and evaluated on their own merits;

5.  Points out that the reform effort that the Union has requested from Romania is in the interests of both sides, enabling Romania to benefit fully from the advantages of accession and ensuring that accession takes place in the best possible conditions;

6.  Recognises Romania's significant contribution to the stability of the wider south-east European region and her continuing role in the promotion of regional security and prosperity;

7.  Notes the assessment of Romania's preparations for accession as set out in the Commission's progress report, and shares its conclusions;

in that context:


   welcomes the significant advances, particularly in the fields of freedom of expression, justice, the integration of minorities, the protection of children, the restoration of property and competition policy;
   points out that efforts must be continued, particularly to complete the reform of public administration; to ensure that the legal system functions properly; to place relations between citizens and institutions on a sound and transparent footing; to combat crime and illegal trafficking; to move forward with the integration of Roma; and to finish implementing the 'acquis communautaire';
   is concerned at persistent reports of ill-treatment by law-enforcement personnel, including excessive use of force and use of lethal force, where many of the victims are Roma; calls on Romania to improve the judicial review of such cases;
   is concerned at persistent delays in a number of areas, such as improving administrative capacity, combating corruption and implementing the 'acquis communautaire' in certain areas of agriculture, public procurement and the environment;

8.  Considers it as one of the highest priorities to combat corruption, particularly high-level corruption, corruption at every level of the judiciary, law-enforcement agencies and the public administration, as well as large-scale corruption, which must be pursued with determination at all levels, by rigorous enforcement of the law and successful prosecutions as well as a proper understanding of the gravity of this problem and its consequences;

9.  Points out that the Romanian external border will become an external border of the European Union;

10.  Stresses the need to continue reform of the legal system by complying with the objectives and timetable set out in the Action Plan and ensuring, with the requisite financial and human resources, that it is effectively implemented, particularly as regards combating illegal trafficking (especially drug trafficking and trafficking in human beings), and by tightening up financial control;

11.  Strongly encourages the Romanian parliament to adopt without delay the revised Penal Code proposed by the government, which aims at removing criminal defamation provisions and at bringing the code into line with the legislation of all EU Member States;

12.  Considers that the adoption by the Romanian parliament of the law on mediation would help to reduce the number of pending judicial cases;

13.  Also draws attention to the need to strengthen human and material resources with a view to substantially improving the management and security of frontiers, in order to combat illegal trafficking, organised crime and illegal immigration;

14.  Notes that, in spite of encouraging economic results, poverty remains widespread and the standard of living is still well below the EU average, necessitating further efforts to achieve cohesion and solidarity;

15.  Considers it particularly urgent for action to be taken to strengthen the administrative capacity of the institutions and set up machinery for financial management and control, so as to enable the funding allocated to be used in an effective and transparent way; strongly insists that concerted and sustained efforts still need to be made towards administrative reform, which is key to the successful implementation of the 'acquis communautaire';

16.  Recommends that pre-accession aid in agriculture and rural development should focus on the creation of partnerships for sustainable rural development programming including civil society, the public and the private sector, especially by making use of the bottom-up method of the LEADER approach, which is now also available for pre-accession programmes;

17.  Asks the Romanian Government to make further efforts in the implementation of legislation on the environment, and calls for consultation with neighbouring countries and vigorous application of standards in the spirit of relevant EU proposals under consideration (e.g. the management of waste by extractive industries), with special attention being paid to large-scale mining projects having substantial environmental implications as in the case of Rosia Montana;

18.  Refers to the disastrous effects of the floods in the summer of 2005, which were the heaviest for the last 100 years and temporarily affected more than 60% of the country, causing severe damage and completely destroying the homes of many people in several regions; calls on the Commission to consider the extent to which pre-accession assistance funds could be used to help those people and regions which have been severely hit by the floods;

19.  Asks the Commission and the Council to support the Romanian Government in its efforts to protect the unique environment of the Danube delta, which is part of a UNESCO heritage site and which is now endangered by the works that the Ukrainian authorities have restarted on the Bystroe branch;

20.  Enjoins Romania to adopt and implement veterinary legislation, so as to safeguard food safety and prevent the transmission of animal diseases;

21.  Emphasises the need to speed up implementation of the law on the restitution of property;

22.  Considers it equally urgent to implement the law on intellectual property, so as to prevent piracy and counterfeiting;

23.  Notes with satisfaction the improvements made by the Romanian authorities in the area of the protection of children and urges the Romanian Government to settle the cases of applications for international adoption made during the moratorium of June 2001, ensuring that all cases are examined in the light of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Romanian Law on the Legal Status of Adoption, with the goal of allowing inter-country adoptions to take place, where justified and appropriate, in those special cases;

24.  Draws attention to the urgent need to protect people with a learning disability whose living and care conditions still are not satisfactory, in particular disabled persons with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems living in residential care; calls for immediate action by the Romanian Government to dismantle the large residential institutions for disabled persons in favour of smaller, community-based residential services with substantial earmarked funding support from the Commission; stresses however the vital need to take all necessary measures to implement the 2002 Law on Mental Health and Protection of People with Psychological Disorders;

25.  Notes that implementation of the anti-discriminatory laws and measures adopted by Romania on behalf of the Roma is a step forward, but considers that the effort to achieve integration, particularly through applying a policy of zero-tolerance on racism against Roma as well as ensuring better access to quality education and the employment market, must be continued while making sure that the media are fully involved;

26.  Expresses its disappointment over the continued delay in the adoption of the law on minorities; expresses disquiet that discriminatory measures are still contained in the electoral laws and repeated in the draft law on minorities; wishes to see the law on minorities approved as soon as possible, respecting the political criteria;

27.  Reiterates that additional measures need to be taken to ensure the protection of the Hungarian minority in accordance with the principles of subsidiary and cultural autonomy; calls on the Romanian authorities to fully sustain higher education for the Hungarian minority by providing the financial means needed;

28.  Calls on the Commission to continue to monitor the preparations for accession with rigour and objectivity and to help the Romanian authorities fulfil their commitments, while taking care to follow developments, not only in terms of commitments given but also in terms of their implementation at local level, in the areas where changes have been requested in its previous reports;

29.  Repeats its demand to be regularly informed by the Commission of its monitoring work and to be fully involved in the final decision on any use of the safeguard clauses;

30.  Approves the Commission's approach, whereby the decision on whether to postpone the date of accession will be taken on the basis of the results obtained by Romania by the spring of 2006;

31.  Reaffirms its wish, supported by a strong political will, to see Romania join the Union on 1 January 2007, but points out that fulfilment of this aim depends first on the Romanian authorities" ability to fulfil the commitments made in the Accession Treaty, failing which the safeguard clauses will be activated;

32.  Calls on the Romanian authorities to make good in a satisfactory manner the shortcomings identified, so as to enable Romania to accede in accordance with the intended timetable;

33.  Calls on those Member States of the Union that have not yet done so to ratify as soon as possible the Treaty of Accession of Romania to the European Union;

34.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of Romania.

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