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Bulgarian Minister Says Larger EU is ‘Unpredictable’

Minister for European Affairs Meglena Kuneva warned on 28 April that Bulgaria's accession negotiations could be delayed by the upcoming enlargement of the EU, mediapool.bg reported.

"I believe that Bulgaria can finalize the negotiations by the end of June, but this does not mean that there are guarantees of that," Kuneva said.

"For us, the EU really becomes somewhat unpredictable after 1 May [when 10 new members join the union]." Kuneva said Bulgaria has presented Brussels with the technical information on the four chapters of the acquis communautaire that remain open: on financial and budgetary provisions, regional politics, agriculture, and competition.

Kuneva said Bulgaria's accession talks should be finalized under the current Irish EU Presidency or by October, when the current European Commission's term ends.

Bulgaria hopes to sign the EU accession treaty in the first half of 2005, Kuneva said.

(RFE/RL 30.iv.04)

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