1 January 2007

Bulgaria and Romania join the EU.

  EU members in 2007
  New EU members admitted in 2007
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On 1 January 2007, Bulgaria and Romania became member states of the European Union (EU) in the fifth wave of EU enlargement.[1]


Romania was the first country of post-communist Europe to have official relations with the European Community. In 1974, a treaty included Romania in the Community's Generalized System of Preferences. After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, membership of the EC, and its successor the European Union (EU), had been the main goal of every Romanian Government and practically every political party in Romania. Romania signed its Europe Agreement in 1993,[2] and submitted its official application for membership in the EU on 22 June 1995 and Bulgaria submitted its official application for membership in the EU on 14 December 1995, the third and the fourth of the post–communist European countries to do so after Hungary and Poland. Along with its official EU application, Romania submitted the Snagov Declaration, signed by all fourteen major political parties declaring their full support for EU membership.[3]

During the 2000s, Bulgaria and Romania implemented a number of reforms to prepare for EU accession, including the consolidation of its democratic systems, the institution of the rule of law, the acknowledgement of respect for human rights, the commitment to personal freedom of expression, and the implementation of a functioning free-market economy. The objective of joining the EU also influenced Bulgaria and Romania's regional relations. As a result, Bulgaria and Romania imposed visa regimes on a number of states, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey and Moldova.

Within the framework of integration meetings held between the EU member states and the EU candidate states Bulgaria and Romania, an 'Association Committee' was held on 22 June 2004. It confirmed overall good progress for the preparation of accession; however, it highlighted the need for further reform of judicial structures in both Bulgaria and Romania, particularly in its pre-trial phases, as well as the need for further efforts to fight against political corruption and organized crime, including human trafficking. The findings were reflected in the 2004 Regular Report for Bulgaria and Romania.[4]

The Brussels European Council of 17 December 2004 confirmed the conclusion of accession negotiations with Bulgaria and Romania.[5] The 26 September 2006 of the European Commission[6] confirmed the date once more, also announcing that Bulgaria and Romania would meet no direct restrictions, but progress in certain areas – reforms of the judicial system, elimination of corruption and the struggle against organized crime — would be strictly monitored.[clarification needed]


5 euro note from the new Europa series written in Latin (EURO) and Greek (ΕΥΡΩ) alphabets, but also in the Cyrillic (ЕВРО) alphabet, as a result of Bulgaria joining the European Union in 2007.

With this accession, Cyrillic became the third official alphabet of the EU, after the Latin and Greek alphabets.[7] Cyrillic will also be featured on the euro banknotes and the national (obverse) side of the Bulgarian euro coins. The ECB and the EU Commission insisted that Bulgaria change the official name of the currency from ЕВРО (EVRO) (as accepted) to ЕУРО (EURO), claiming that the currency should have a standard spelling and pronunciation across the EU.[8] For details, see Linguistic issues concerning the euro. The issue was decisively resolved in favour of Bulgaria at the 2007 EU Summit in Lisbon, allowing Bulgaria to use the Cyrillic spelling евро on all official EU documents.[9][10]


The date of accession, 1 January 2007, was set at the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003 and confirmed in Brussels on 18 June 2004. Bulgaria, Romania and the EU-25 signed the Treaty of Accession on 25 April 2005 at Luxembourg's Neumuenster Abbey.

The 26 September 2006 monitoring report of the European Commission confirmed the entry date as 1 January 2007. The last instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Accession was deposited with the Italian government on 20 December 2006 thereby ensuring it came into force on 1 January 2007.

Work restrictions

Some member states of the EU required Bulgarians and Romanians to acquire a permit to work, whilst members of all other old member states did not require one. In the Treaty of Accession 2005, there was a clause about a transition period so each old EU member state could impose such 2+3+2 transitional periods. Restrictions were planned to remain in place until 1 January 2014 – 7 years after their accession.[11][12][13]

Establishment of rights of EU nationals of Bulgaria and Romania to work in another EU member state
Another EU member state Bulgaria Romania
Finland 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Sweden 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Cyprus 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Estonia 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Latvia 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Lithuania 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Poland 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Czech Republic 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Slovakia 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Slovenia 1 January 2007 1 January 2007
Portugal 1 January 2009 1 January 2009
Spain 1 January 2009 1 January 2009 (reintroduced on 1 January 2011 and removed on 1 January 2014)
Greece 1 January 2009 1 January 2009
Denmark 1 January 2009 1 January 2009
Hungary 1 January 2009 1 January 2009
Italy 1 January 2012 1 January 2012
Ireland 1 January 2012 1 January 2012
France 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Germany 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Austria 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Belgium 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Netherlands 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Luxembourg 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
United Kingdom 1 January 2014 1 January 2014
Malta 1 January 2014 1 January 2014

Remaining areas of inclusion

Bulgaria and Romania became members on 1 January 2007, but some areas of cooperation in the European Union will apply to Bulgaria and Romania at a later date. These are:


While both countries were admitted, concerns about corruption and organised crime were still high. As a result, although they joined, they were subject to monitoring from the European Commission through a Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification (CVM). It was initially set up for three years after the accession but has continued indefinitely and although it has highlighted the corruption and applied some pressure to continue reforms, it has not succeeded in forcing the two countries to complete reforms and corruption persists.[14][15] In 2019 however, the European Commission stated that it will admit Bulgaria in the Schengen area for its efforts against corruption.[16]


The accession treaty granted Bulgaria and Romania a seat, like every other state, on the Commission. Bulgaria nominated Meglena Kuneva, from NDSV who was given the post of Commissioner for Consumer Protection in the Barroso Commission, from 1 January 2007 until 31 October 2009. She was nominated in 2006 by the then current Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev. Romania nominated Leonard Orban, an independent, who was made Commissioner for Multilingualism in the Barroso Commission, from 1 January 2007 until 31 October 2009. He was nominated in 2006 by the previous Romanian Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu. Both were approved by Parliament to become Commissioners upon accession.


Upon accession Bulgaria's 18 and Romania's 35 observer MEPs became full voting representatives until each state held an election for the posts, which were mandated to happen before the end of the year. Bulgaria held its election on 20 May 2007 and Romania on 25 November 2007.


Member countries Population Area (km²) GDP
(billion US$)
per capita (US$)
 Bulgaria[2] 7,761,000 111,002 62.29 8,026 Bulgarian
 Romania 22,329,977 238,391 204.4 9,153 Romanian
Accession countries 30,090,977 349,393 266.69 8,863 2
Existing members (2007) 464,205,901 4,104,844 12,170.11 26,217
EU27 (2007) 494,296,878

See also


  1. ^ Enlargement, 3 years after Archived 25 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Europa (web portal)
  2. ^ Chronology of the Fifth EU Enlargement, Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom
  3. ^ Melanie H. Ram, PhD, Sub-regional Cooperation and European Integration: Romania’s Delicate Balance
  4. ^ 2004 Regular Report
  5. ^ Brussels European Council of December 17 2004
  6. ^ monitoring report
  7. ^ Leonard Orban (24 May 2007). "Cyrillic, the third official alphabet of the EU, was created by a truly multilingual European" (PDF). europe.eu. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Николай Василев ще брани в Брюксел изписването "евро" вместо "еуро"" (in Bulgarian). Mediapool.bg. 7 November 2006. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2007.
  9. ^ "Bulgaria wins victory in "evro" battle". Reuters. 18 October 2007.
  10. ^ "Evro" dispute over - Portuguese foreign minister | The Sofia Echo
  11. ^ "4 EU nations ease work restrictions on new members". Associated Press. 8 January 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2008.[dead link]
  12. ^ See also: Freedom of movement for workers
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ EU commission defends Romania-Bulgaria monitoring project EUObserver, March 2010; Bulgaria and Romania in trouble for a too fast EU integration. EuropaRussia, September 2010.
  15. ^ EU Observer, 4 January 2011
  16. ^ EU slams Romania for not tackling corruption, Deutsche Welle, Retrieved on February 2020. "'The Commission notes in particular the commitment of the Bulgarian government to put in place procedures concerning the accountability of the prosecutor general, including safeguarding judicial independence'" the report read...Both Croatia and Bulgaria are working towards Schengen membership." Archived on the Wayback Machine

1 January 1995

The World Trade Organization comes into existence.

The World Trade Organization is an intergovernmental organization that regulates international trade. The WTO officially commenced on 1 January 1995 under the Marrakesh Agreement, signed by 124 nations on 15 April 1994, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which commenced in 1948. It is the largest international economic organization in the world.

The WTO deals with regulation of trade in goods, services and intellectual property between participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants’ adherence to WTO agreements, which are signed by representatives of member governments:fol.9–10 and ratified by their parliaments. The WTO prohibits discrimination between trading partners, but provides exceptions for environmental protection, national security, and other important goals. Trade-related disputes are resolved by independent judges at the WTO through a dispute resolution process.

The WTO’s current Director-General is Roberto Azevêdo, who leads a staff of over 600 people in Geneva, Switzerland. A trade facilitation agreement, part of the Bali Package of decisions, was agreed by all members on 7 December 2013, the first comprehensive agreement in the organization’s history. On 23 January 2017, the amendment to the WTO Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement marks the first time since the organization opened in 1995 that WTO accords have been amended, and this change should secure for developing countries a legal pathway to access affordable remedies under WTO rules.

Studies show that the WTO boosted trade, and that barriers to trade would be higher in the absence of the WTO. The WTO has highly influenced the text of trade agreements, as “nearly all recent [preferential trade agreements reference the WTO explicitly, often dozens of times across multiple chapters… in many of these same PTAs we find that substantial portions of treaty language—sometime the majority of a chapter—is copied verbatim from a WTO agreement.”

The WTO’s predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, was established by a multilateral treaty of 23 countries in 1947 after World War II in the wake of other new multilateral institutions dedicated to international economic cooperation – such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. A comparable international institution for trade, named the International Trade Organization never started as the U.S. and other signatories did not ratify the establishment treaty, and so GATT slowly became a de facto international organization.

Seven rounds of negotiations occurred under GATT. The first real GATT trade rounds concentrated on further reducing tariffs. Then the Kennedy Round in the mid-sixties brought about a GATT anti-dumping Agreement and a section on development. The Tokyo Round during the seventies represented the first major attempt to tackle trade barriers that do not take the form of tariffs, and to improve the system, adopting a series of agreements on non-tariff barriers, which in some cases interpreted existing GATT rules, and in others broke entirely new ground. Because not all GATT members accepted these plurilateral agreements, they were often informally called “codes”. Several of these codes were amended in the Uruguay Round and turned into multilateral commitments accepted by all WTO members. Only four remained plurilateral, but in 1997 WTO members agreed to terminate the bovine meat and dairy agreements, leaving only two. Despite attempts in the mid-1950s and 1960s to establish some form of institutional mechanism for international trade, the GATT continued to operate for almost half a century as a semi-institutionalized multilateral treaty regime on a provisional basis.

1 January 1651

Charles II is crowned as King of Scotland.

Charles II lived from 29 May 1630 to 6 February 1685. Legally, he became King of England, Scotland, and Ireland on 30 January 1649, the day his father, Charles I, was beheaded. In practice, he did not become undisputed King of England until 29 May 1660: while in Scotland he had been proclaimed King Charles II by the Scottish Parliament on 5 February 1649; and crowned on 1 January 1651. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.

Charles Stuart was born in St. James’s Palace, London on 29 May 1630, and as the eldest surviving son of Charles I was made Prince of Wales and heir to the crowns held by his father. During the First Civil War the 12 year-old Charles Stuart accompanied his father at the Battle of Edgehill, and at the age of 15, took part in a number of the campaigns of 1645. Charles I was taken prisoner in 1646, and the following year Charles Stuart went to France for safety.

During the Second Civil War Charles Stuart was unable to reach the Scottish forces invading Northern England before their defeat by Oliver Cromwell at the Battle of Preston on 17–19 August 1648. Charles I was beheaded on 30 January 1649. On 5 February 1649 the Scottish Parliament proclaimed the 19 year-old Charles Stuart as Charles II: while the following month the English Parliament declared England to be a republic.

From March 1649, Charles was based in the Hague, where he began a series of negotiations with representatives of the Scottish Parliament about his return. In exchange for their support, the Scots wanted Charles to sign the Covenant, and to impose Presbyterianism in England, Wales and Ireland. Charles refused, instead attempting to regain control in Scotland by force. At his request, the Marquis of Montrose, who had brilliantly led the Royalist forces against the Covenanters in Scotland during the Civil War, landed in Orkney with 500 Scandinavian mercenaries, before moving on to Caithness, reinforced by Orcadian volunteers. However, on 27 April 1650 Montrose’s forces lost to a much smaller Covenanter army at the Battle of Carbisdale, near Bonar Bridge. Montrose was subsequently executed in Edinburgh, in part because Charles denied to the Scots that he was behind Montrose’s actions.

1 January 1934

Alcatraz Island, in the San Francisco Bay, becomes a United States federal prison.

The federal prison on Alcatraz Island in the chilly waters of California’s San Francisco Bay housed some of America’s most difficult and dangerous felons during its years of operation from 1934 to 1963. Among those who served time at the maximum-security facility were the notorious gangster Al “Scarface” Capone (1899-1947) and murderer Robert “Birdman of Alcatraz” Stroud (1890-1963). No inmate ever successfully escaped The Rock, as the prison was nicknamed, although more than a dozen known attempts were made over the years. After the prison was shut down due to high operating costs, the island was occupied for almost two years, starting in 1969, by a group of Native-American activists. Today, historic Alcatraz Island, which was also the site of a U.S. military prison from the late 1850s to 1933, is a popular tourist destination.