European members of parliament have warned Romania and Bulgaria that they will not be able to join the European Union as planned unless they clean up the piracy and border controls in their countries.
The European Parliament told the two countries that they would miss their scheduled Jan. 1, 2007 accession date if they fail to fight the corruption and trafficking that has created a significant black market in pirate music and movies. The warning, issued today (Nov. 23) came just weeks after the European Commission — the European’s Union’s executive authority — said in a monitoring report that the two countries had to take “immediate action” to fight counterfeiting.
The Parliament’s report on Bulgaria urged reforms in the judiciary, police and public administration to tackle the problems. The report expressed concern at “the brazen nature of Bulgarian organized criminal elements, their contempt for the law and challenge to the authority of the state, and their involvement with apparent impunity in a series of audacious, high-profile murders in recent years.” And it called for a constitutional amendment to provide clearer division of responsibilities in the prosecution and investigation of crime.
The report on Romania also focused on problems with corruption and border controls. EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn earlier demanded reform of public administration, reform of the justice system, and effective enforcement of the fight against corruption.