Montenegrin Journal of Economics

Transition And European Integration Of Bulgaria And Romania: Efforts For Overcoming Negative Legaciesand New Challenges

Yoji Koyama

2007, vol. 3, no. 6, p. 55-69

Bulgaria and Romania were admitted to the European Union (EU) on January 1, 2007, thus making their longcherished desire into practice. It was not easy path for the both countries to reach this date. Due to their worse political and economic performance, the both countries were not admitted to the EU on May 1, 2004 together with 8 Central European and Baltic countries. Their accession delayed for two years and 8 months. Ialnazov, Dimiter (2003) argues that countries which escaped from socialism with "coup d' etat by nomenklatura", tended to be partial reformers, and the result has been a vicious circle of corruption and rentseeking, locking these countries into a "bad" socialist trajectory. In his opinion, in order to extricate themselves from their postsocialist trajectory "external anchor" are necessary. For Bulgaria the first "external anchor" is the currency board system, and the second "external anchor" is its prospect for the EU accession. Bulgaria adopted the currency board system in 1997 while Romania did not. What the both countries have in common as the "external anchor" is their prospect for the EU accession. The reason for why the EU changed its policy toward South East European countries (SEECs) in 1999 seems to be that the EU perceived it necessary for the EU itself to lead reforms in SEECs including Bulgaria and Romania. These external anchors have satisfactorily played their roles in Bulgaria and Romania. International financial associations such as the IMF and the World Bank have strongly supported the transition to a market economy in the both countries by carrotand-stick policies. However, Bulgaria and Romania are facing big challenges, that is, fighting against organized crimes and reforms of the judicial system. Another challenge for the two countries after accomplishing the EU accession is to enter the EMU (Economic Monetary Union) and adopt Euro as soon as possible. The both countries will have to overcome structural fragility of their economies.

suggested citation:

Yoji Koyama. "Transition And European Integration Of Bulgaria And Romania: Efforts For Overcoming Negative Legaciesand New Challenges." Montenegrin Journal of Economics. vol. 3, no. 6, 2007, p. 55-69

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