Wednesday 3 January 2007, by Frattini Franco
«I warmly welcome Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union. I look forward to working with our new full partners, together with the German and Portuguese Presidencies and the other Member States, in pursuing our efforts to make the EU a truly common area of Justice, Freedom and Security.
Bulgaria and Romania have made considerable progress over the past years in achieving that goal. Joining the EU family brings them into specialised bodies such as Europol and Eurojust. This will allow the EU to extend and enhance its police and judicial cooperation policies in the fight against organised crime and corruption. Bulgarian and Romanian judicial and law enforcement authorities will now have full access to the EU’s Programmes and Funds in the policy areas of Justice, Freedom and Security.
The two new Member States will in the future also become responsible for managing a considerable part of the EU’s external border. They have worked very hard with the EU’s assistance in preparing for this vital task. Full membership of the Frontex agency will help them discharge their responsibilities and they will benefit from «Schengen Facility» funds, which represent a considerable financial incentive to assist them in preparing to join the Schengen area in due course.
I am pleased that the EU has honoured its commitment to welcome Romania and Bulgaria in 2007: it is a strong signal to the reformers in both countries that their efforts have paid off. They will continue to have my support for their courageous policies. The cooperation and verification mechanism in the policy areas for which I am responsible will be a key instrument for this purpose. I remain personally committed to assisting the two new Member States with all possible means to achieve our common goals.
I have received a firm commitment from both new Member States that the reform process will continue after accession. I am convinced that all Bulgarian and Romanian authorities share this commitment and will contribute to the success of their countries’ membership of the EU.
Finally, I am convinced that Bulgaria and Romania are amongst those Member States acknowledging the need to improve decision making process in the area of freedom, security and justice and supporting efforts to achieving precisely that.»
Brussels, 31 December 2006
Source : Europa