Romania. In February, Romania's former Prime Minister
Adrian Nastase was cleared of corruption charges. He denied
the accusations, saying that the government was chasing
political opponents to show the EU that it meets the main
requirement to become a member of the Union, namely to
In the spring, Romania received praise from the EU just
for its increased anti-corruption efforts. A number of
criminal investigations were underway against politicians,
lawyers and officials.
In June, the EU reintroduced a previous import ban on
poultry from Romania due to a second epidemic of bird flu,
which has spread to several villages and also the capital
Bucharest. About a million animals had been slaughtered.
CountryAAH, President Traian Băsescu was forced in August to refute
allegations that he worked for the former security service
Securitate. Several politicians were identified as former
co-workers since Securitate's archive was opened. Băsescu
said he had never signed an agreement with Securitate, but
as a sea captain he had written routine "travel reports" for
his superiors. He also defended the decision to open the
archives, saying that Romania could not enter the EU without
In September, the European Commission declared that
Romania and Bulgaria were ready to be accepted as members of
the EU on 1 January 2007. However, there were a number of
requirements that needed to be met gradually. Among other
things, both countries must report once a year on the fight
against corruption. However, the disappointment became great
in both Romania and Bulgaria when the UK and Ireland
announced that guest workers from both countries would not
have free access to the labor market after EU entry.
In November, the former head of government Nastase was
indicted for bribery, extortion and abuse of power. The
prosecution was linked to an apartment building in
Bucharest. Nastase denied the charges.
At the end of the year, the prosecutor's office decided
to start criminal investigations also against the outgoing
finance minister and communications minister, who were
suspected of corruption in connection with the privatization
Ahead of the New Year's EU accession, the government lost
its majority in Parliament when the small Conservative party
left the coalition.