The idea to use the opportunity of EU membership as an impetus for democratic reforms in candidate-countries has proved to be wrong
What is the point of the EU's existence? Even specialists may find themselves at a loss when answering this question. When the idea of European integration appeared, it became clear that European nations launched the unification process to overcome the destructive legacy of WWII. The current existence of the European Union is based on political mythology.
The answer to the question can be found in the situation, which was formed with the EU membership for Romania and Bulgaria. It may seem at first sight that these two countries can fit in the minimum criteria for the EU membership, which differs them from Turkey, for example. Both Bulgaria and Romania are situated entirely in Europe and were not noticed for ethnic cleansing like it happened in the case with Croatia and Serbia. Moreover, Western politicians and diplomats continue to praise the development of the democratic society both in Bulgaria and in Romania. However, the two countries do not have the EU membership and they are not likely to obtain it during the forthcoming several years either.
European politicians said before that Bulgaria and Romania would become EU members in 2007, although they pushed back such a probability later - to 2008. Why can't they just say that the governments of Bulgaria and Romania have not done enough to bring their countries to the levels of the European Union membership?
The idea to use the opportunity of EU membership as an impetus for democratic reforms in candidate-countries has proved to be wrong. Bulgaria and Romania have chosen the democratic way of development, although these two little European states lag far behind the democratic level of Great Britain, for example. Experts of the European Commission concluded in their recent research works that the two states need to work a lot to amend the protection of human rights, develop anti-corruption and legal laws and so on and so forth.
If Bulgaria and Romania are denied EU membership, it will strike a serious blow on democratic initiatives in the two countries. On the other hand, if democracy is so weak now there, how can these two states become new members of the European Union?
In the meantime, Romania and Bulgaria continue to receive money from European tax payers. In 2006, Bulgaria is to receive 545 million euros, whereas Romania will enjoy 1.155 billion. These impressive numbers explain why so many countries have evinced great interest in becoming EU members: the process is much more pleasant than the result.
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