Bucharest - Piata Unirii, Romania. Photo: Alan Grant
Bucharest - Piata Unirii, Romania. Photo: Alan Grant

Romania

"If there had been no offer for Romania to join the EU, we would look like another Belarus now."

Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (ESI portrait, 2010)

Romania is, after Bulgaria, the poorest country in the EU. Romania was one of the laggards in the 5th EU enlargement round. It is still subject to an EU "Mechanism for cooperation and verification", a tool established to continuously monitor progress in the areas of judicial reform, corruption and organised crime in Romania and Bulgaria after they joined the EU. Some member states, in particular the Netherlands and Germany, have argued that Romania (along with Bulgaria) is not ready to join the Schengen area, although both countries have met the technical criteria. In 2011 the Dutch Minister for Immigration, Integration and Asylum Affairs, Gerd Leers, said:

"It is also a matter of trust and confidence that our collective external borders will be safe and secure. At the moment, it is clear that there are still significant shortcomings in the field of anticorruption and the fight against organized crime."

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ESI documentary: Timisoara.com (2008)
Timisoary 2.0
Timisoara. Photo: pre tv
 
ESI documentary: Timisoara.com
Timisoara.com
     

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