Romania - EU Member State
In 1993, at the European Council held in Copenhagen, member states have made an important step to enlargement of European Union, establishing that “the associated countries in Central and Eastern Europe that so desire shall become members of the European Union”. At Copenhagen it was affirmed that accession will take place as soon as an associated country is able to assume the obligations of membership by satisfying the economic and political conditions required by Union, also known as ‘Copenhagen criteria’. To became a member, it must fulfil next criteria:
- political criteria: stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities
- economic criteria: the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union;
- legislative criteria: the adoption of the acquis communautaire thus community legislation to be efficient implemented in national legislation.
The Romania’s accession process has started in 1993 by signing the European Agreement having as main objective Romania’s preparation for accession.
These criteria have been confirmed by European Council held in Madrid, in 1995, which has accentuated the importance of adapting administrative structure of candidates countries, having in view the creation of conditions for a gradual and harmonized accession process.
In 1995 Romania officially applies for EU membership, but only in 1999 The European
Council in Helsinki decides to start negotiations wit six candidates states, among them and Romania. By the end of 2004 all the 31 chapters of the acquis communautaire have been closed. Romania signs the Treaty of Accession to European Union on 25th of April 2005 in the same time with Bulgaria.
The areas referring to the accession negotiations to EU are structured in 31 chapters and enclose all EU’s legislation (acquis communautaire). When the applicant state accepts the common EU position, the respective chapter is considered provisionally closed. The negotiations are closed only when all chapters have been negotiated, no chapter been considered definitely closed until all 31 chapters are finished.
The negotiations results are incorporated in a draft accession treaty. The treaty is submitted to the Council for approval and to the European Parliament for assent, and then is submitted to the Member States and the applicant country for ratification. In certain cases this may imply a referendum. The treaty enters into force and the applicant becomes a Member State at the accession date.
Since 1st of January 2007 Romania has become EU Member State with rights and obligations regularized by EU’s treaties and laws which Romania has to consider as every Member State of EU.