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Acceding Countries

Before they enter the EU the 10 acceding countries have to adopt the common rules and standards that make up the body of EU law. The EU has assisted these countries in taking on EU laws and provides financial assistance to improve their infrastructure and economy.

On the 1st of January 2007 Romania and Bulgaria should become members of the European Union (EU), if the conditions settled by the Copenhagen criteria are met. The accession of these two countries will complete the EU-5th Enlargement, which started in May 2004.

Before they enter the EU, the two acceding countries have to complete the adoption of the common rules and standards that make up the body of the EU food safety laws.

DG SANCO is thus closely assisting these two countries and following their progress.

Food safety has a high priority in the EU and DG SANCO has undertaken numerous actions to assist these countries in meeting the food safety standards of the EU.

Experts have visited these countries, prepared reports, analysed the state and the quality of transposition and implementation of EU laws by these countries. The FVO has carried out several missions to assess the readiness of the food safety systems, while other instruments such as Phare projects, Peer Reviews and TAIEX conferences have been employed to train and advise these countries.

Generally speaking, the Commission has not accepted any compromise on food safety (accession negotiations were closed without any "transitional periods" or derogation in the transposition and implementation of legislation) and will not accept any lowering of the food safety standards.

For more details see related documents on acceding countries:


Candidate Countries

Croatia and Turkey are two candidate countries with which screening and negotiation activities have started in October 2005.

The first formal part of the pre-negotiation period has started with a country screening session of the existing EU aquis, held in Brussels in March 2006.
Both Turkish and Croatian authorities attended this session.
The purpose of the sceening was to introduce and explain the relevant aquis of the food safety rules (Chapter 12 – food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy) to the candidate countries.

The country screening session will be followed by bilateral session with the Turkish and Croatian authorities at the end-of April and end-of May.
The aim of the bilateral sessions is to inform the Commission on national legislation and point out potential problem areas with regards to adopting the EU aquis on food safety.

At the end of 2006, a report on the state of readiness of the candidate countries will be made available.

SANCO E4 coordinates the screening process for food safety with the assistance of experts in the Directorate.

The European Council granted the status of candidate country to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in December 2005.

For more details see related link: DG ENLAG web site

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