Romanian parliament ratifies EU accession treaty

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

On Tuesday, the Romanian parliament ratified the country's accession treaty to the European Union, which was signed in Luxembourg on April 25 of this year. The ratification occurred under a joint session of both chambers of the Romanian parliament. The treaty was approved unanimously, with all 434 parliamentarians voting in favour.

The approval of the treaty in the Romanian parliament was considered a ceremonial step, since it was expected to be ratified by a very wide margin. But it was also seen as yet another important step on Romania's road towards the European Union.

The speaker of the parliament, Adrian Năstase, who was also Romania's Prime Minister between 2000 and 2004, said, "This is a historic moment for Romania". While current Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu stated, "The ratification of the treaty is a turning-point in Romania's political history."

Romania's parliamentary ratification of the treaty comes after Bulgaria, which also signed the treaty in Luxembourg, ratified it on May 11. Alongside Bulgaria and Romania, the treaty has already been ratified by seven current member states of the European Union. In order for the treaty to come into effect, all EU members must approve it.

Both Bulgaria and Romania, which are currently accession countries of the European Union, are set to join the EU on January 1, 2007.