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Bulgaria, Romania to join European Union

UPI

September 26, 2006

The European Commission is setting a series of strict conditions for Bulgaria and Romania to join the European Union.

While the body is expected to allow the countries to join their club on Jan. 1, Bulgaria and Romania will be watched for their work against organized crime, animal diseases and farm aid, the BBC reported Tuesday. The conditions are seen as tighter than previous new EU members faced.

The BBC quoted "observers" as saying the terms are, for internal reasons in letting EU citizens know it's hard to join the bloc and for external messages to other Balkan countries and Turkey, which are seeking to join the EU.

Jose Manual Barroso, president of the European Commission, says the EU cannot go on with expansion plans before it decides on a new constitution, the BBC said.

The EU's decision to admit Bulgaria and Romania into the 25-country group comes after seven years of talks.

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