BUCHAREST, Romania, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union at midnight New Year's Day, celebrating with rock music and traditional dancing.
Thousands attended celebrations in the country's capitols, the BBC reported. The president of the European Parliament and other EU officials watched in Bucharest, Romania, as fireworks lit up the night sky.
Although officials in both countries are overjoyed, the BBC said other EU members fear that institutions in the countries are too disorganized. A new flood of immigration is also reportedly a concern.
"The Bulgarian economy still lacks a certain competitiveness," Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev has admitted.
But advocates for the enlargement of the EU point out that both new members face export bans on certain foods, and note that Bulgaria closed two reactors of a nuclear power station to be eligible for membership.
Bulgaria and Romania are by far the poorest countries in the EU, the BBC said.