Stanishev: Bulgaria meets EU standards

April 18, 2006 at 1:19 PM

SOFIA, Bulgaria, April 18 (UPI) -- Bulgaria's top diplomat dismissed allegations his country is slow in judiciary reforms and claimed Sofia is able to meet European standards to join the EU next year.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Sergey Stanishev disagreed with EU officials' statements that Romania, which has been praised for progress in judiciary and anti-corruption reforms, is overtaking Bulgaria in the race to enter the EU on Jan. 1, 2007, the Sofia News Agency said Tuesday.

"I believe now the European Commission and European Parliament must show that Bulgaria and Romania will enter the EU not only because of their geo-strategic importance but also because of their ability to apply European standards," Stanishev told Berlin's Tageszeitung newspaper.

If Bulgaria fails to meet EU conditions, its entry to the European bloc may be delayed until 2008.

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