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A decade of membership of Bulgaria and Romania in the EU

01. February 2017. | Belgrade

A decade of membership of Bulgaria and Romania in the EU

Yesterday, the Embassies of Bulgaria and Romania in the Republic of Serbia marked the 10th anniversary of membership of these two countries in the European Union with an official reception, at which the advantages and also challenges of the EU accession process were presented.

The official reception, which was held at the Embassy of Bulgaria in Belgrade in cooperation with the EU Delegation, was attended by Jadranka Joksimović, the Minister of the Government of the Republic of Serbia in charge of European integration, Maja Gojković, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, and Tanja Miščević, the Head of the Negotiating Team for the Negotiations with EU.  

Jadranka Joksimović congratulated Romania and Bulgaria on the jubilee, i.e. the 10th anniversary of their membership in the EU, adding that "we, as good neighbours, feel" that this is also good for the Republic of Serbia, and that it is "something that can contribute to a better economy, political relations in the region and to a more important relationship that the entire EU should have with the Southeastern Europe". As she stated, the concept of the EU would not be complete without the Southeastern Europe.

Ms Joksimović said that the economic and political framework of the EU provides stability and security, and that the process of reforms itself does not end once the country becomes a member state. She expressed her admiration to the Ambassador of Romania for the way she preserves the Romanian tradition every time she shows up in clothes reminiscent of the Romanian traditional garment, saying that this is also a proof for Serbia that the national identity isn't lost due to the membership in the EU and that, as she stated, the diversity is continuously contributed to.

Michael Davenport, the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, stated that Bulgaria and Romania provide "a huge contribution to the project of the European Union", and that the total trade of these two countries with other member states has doubled in the past ten years.

"In the circumstances of political uncertainty with which we are faced in Europe and elsewhere, we should recall the transformative power of the EU, and your 10th anniversary is an ideal opportunity for that," Davenport said.

Mr Davenport stated that both Bulgaria and Romania strongly support the enlargement process, which also includes the Republic of Serbia, adding that they are actively involved in Cross-border Cooperation Programmes financed by the EU, which "unite and bring closer the communities of these three countries."

Radko Vlajkov, the Bulgarian Ambassador in Belgrade, stated that joining the EU enabled his country to take part in the largest trade bloc in the world - a single market with 500 million European citizens, and that the stability and safety regulations and standards of the Union have created favourable conditions for increasing foreign investments in Bulgarian economy.

Oana Cristina Popa, the Ambassador of Romania said that Romania, by its membership in the EU and by starting to participate actively in the decision making process in Europe, has marked "the final and permanent return to democratic values after decades of darkness of communism and dictatorship."

The reception began with the European anthem "Ode to Joy", in the presence of numerous representatives of the diplomatic corps, and thus marked the beginning of a series of joint events and debates which will be organised by the embassies of Bulgaria and Romania in the entire Serbia throughout this year in order to mark the 10th anniversary.

Bulgaria and Romania became the 26th and 27th members of the European Union on 1 January 2007.