The Accession Partnership with Romania

Table of Contents:

The Accession Partnership with Romania

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Accession Partnership with Romania


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Enlargement 2004 and 2007

The Accession Partnership with Romania

The Accession Partnership is intended to help the Romanian authorities in their efforts to meet the accession criteria. It covers in detail the priorities for Romania’s accession preparations, in particular implementation of the acquis, and forms the basis for programming pre-accession assistance from Community funds like the Phare programme. On 25 April 2005, Romania signed its Treaty of Accession to the European Union. The objective now is its ratification, so that Romania can become a Member State of the European Union on 1 January 2007

In its ” Agenda 2000 ” communication, the European Commission set out a range of proposals for strengthening the pre-accession strategy for all the candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEEC). The general objective of this strategy is to offer a coherent programme for preparing these countries for membership of the European Union, and more particularly:

  • to bring together the various forms of aid offered by the European Union within a single framework, the accession partnerships;
  • to familiarise applicants with the European Union’s procedures and policies by offering them the opportunity to participate in Community programmes.


The objective of the Accession Partnership (adopted in March 1998 and amended in December 1999, January 2002 and May 2003) is to place within a legislative framework the working priorities set out in the road map and the Commission’s 2003 Regular Report on progress towards accession, the financial resources available to help Romania implement these priorities, and the conditions which apply to this aid. This partnership underpins a range of instruments to support candidate countries in the accession process.

These instruments include a national programme for adopting the Community acquis, joint evaluation of medium-term economic priorities, the pact against organised crime, the national development plan and other sectoral programmes required for participation in post-accession structural funds and pre-accession implementation of ISPA and SAPARD. In 2002, the Accession Partnership served as the starting point for preparing an action plan to reinforce the administrative and judicial capacity of Romania.

Although these instruments will not form an integral part of the partnership, their priorities will be compatible with it.

Implementation of the Accession Partnership will be monitored under the Europe Agreement between the European Union and Romania.


The Accession Partnership priorities were reviewed in December 1999 (see page 3 of the Annex to Decision 1999/852/EC). A final revision was published in May 2003 (Decision 2003/397/EC). The revised priorities formed the basis of the Commission’s evaluation in its 2003 report.

The revised Accession Partnership defines the priorities which Romania should wholly or largely achieve from 2003-2004. They were jointly defined by the EU and Romania. The level of aid granted to Romania will depend upon the implementation of these priorities.

Romania has addressed the priorities set out in the revised Accession Partnership. Overall, it has made progress, but must make further efforts to achieve the objectives laid down for 2003-2004. Romania has launched major reforms in the fields of public administration, the fight against corruption, and the judicial system, which are intended to strengthen democracy and the rule of law. Further progress has been made in the area of human rights and the protection of minorities, although attention should be focused on the implementation of these reforms and on the enforcement of existing legislation. Structural reforms have included major privatisations in industry and in the energy sector, but further efforts are still needed in order to tackle the accumulation of arrears and reluctance to initiate bankruptcy procedures. Romania has made satisfactory progress with the adoption and implementation of the acquis. However, considerable efforts are still needed to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the legislation arising from the commitments made in the negotiations. Overall, more legislative alignment and greater administrative capacity are needed to meet these commitments.

To find out more, see: Adoption of the Community Acquis.

Financial Framework

Support from the Phare programme and other pre-accession instruments is focused on the Accession Partnership priorities. The total volume of pre-accession assistance available to Romania for 2004 (around EUR 825 million) is substantial and increasing: EUR 405.3 million for the national Phare programme, EUR 158.7 million for Sapard and between EUR 289 million and EUR 343 million for Ispa.


Under the Phare programme, Romania received EUR 2.1 billion for the period 1992-2003, of which EUR 283 million for 2003. The economic and social cohesion subprogramme of the 2004 National Phare programme will be allocated about EUR 160 million, about 40% of the total Phare budget in 2004. This is an increase on the 2003 allocation of EUR 48 million.

The 2004 Phare programme focuses on the following priorities:

  • Political criteria: emphasis is put on multiannual programmes to strengthen administrative and judicial capacity, support minorities and civil society, fight corruption and fraud, improve prison conditions and strengthen police cooperation (EUR 50 million).
  • Economic criteria: substantial further assistance is provided for the creation of a unified, efficient and adequate land registration system as the basis for Community support (e.g. in agriculture) and also for ensuring the safety of investments (EUR 4.5 million). Meeting the obligations of membership: twinning, technical assistance and investment projects are carried out principally in four priority areas, namely public finance, agriculture, environment and border management, also subject to multiannual programming. Further areas will be covered specifically under the 2004 budget: internal market, competition, statistics, social policy and employment, energy, transport, consumer protection, justice and home affairs and the audiovisual sector (EUR 155.4 million).
  • Economic and social cohesion: support is provided in close conjunction with the three-year National Development Plan (NDP) adopted by the Romanian Government in December 2003 (EUR 160.1 million).

In addition, EUR 28 million of the programme will be devoted to cross-border cooperation programmes on Romania’s borders with Hungary (EUR 5 million), Bulgaria (EUR 8 million), Moldova (EUR 5 million), Serbia & Montenegro (EUR 4 million) and Ukraine (EUR 6 million).

Pre-accession aid

Aid for agricultural and rural development (SAPARD) and a structural instrument (ISPA) giving priority to measures in the transport and environmental sectors were introduced in 2000. The Regulation coordinating aid under Phare, SAPARD and ISPA, adopted in June 1999, enables the Commission to carry out a posteriori monitoring of contracts where it considers the financial control in the partner country to be deficient.

The total financial aid made available between 2000 and 2002 was EUR 1 890 billion, of which EUR 242 million under Phare, EUR 150 million under SAPARD; and between EUR 208 and EUR 270 million under ISPA. SAPARD 2003 allocated around EUR 162.2 million to Romania. The envelope agreed under ISPA for the same year was EUR 255.1 million.

The Community allocated EUR 158.7 million for implementation of the SAPARD programme in Romania in 2004. The main focus of the 2004 SAPARD programme is to increase the absorption and especially the use of the 2000 financial allocations, since any unused funds are due to be decommitted by the end of 2004. In December 2003 the SAPARD Agency was accredited for the implementation of the following three additional measures: “Investments in agricultural holdings”, “Development and diversification of economic activities, multiple activities and alternative income” and “Improving vocational training”. With this accreditation the Agency will manage 80% of the amount available for Romania under the programme.

ISPA programming is governed by the national strategy papers for transport and the environment, which the Romanian authorities finalised in 2000. The strategies for these two sectors are currently under revision. The strategic objectives in the field of transport are intended to address serious weaknesses in the network of roads and railways and are focused on the modernisation of the trans-European corridors crossing the country. Other priorities are dealing with increased traffic levels around urban areas and developing the use of waterways. In 2004, a total commitment of EUR 272.3 million was approved, in support of both transport (EUR 149.6 million) and environmental projects (EUR 122.7 million).


Commission Opinion COM(97) 2003 final
Not published in the Official Journal


Council Decision 98/261/EC of 30.03.1998
Official Journal L 121 of 23.04.1998

Council Decision 1999/852/EC of 06.12.1999
Official Journal L 335 of 28.12.1999

Decision 2002/92/EC of 28.01.2002
Official Journal L 44 of 14.02.2002

Decision 2003/397/EC of 19.05.2003
Official Journal L 145 of 12.06.2003


Commission Report COM(98) 702 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(1999) 510 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2000) 710 final
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2001) 700 final – SEC(2001) 1753
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2002) 700 final – SEC(2002) 1409
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2003)676 final – SEC(2003) 1211
Not published in the Official Journal

Commission Report COM(2004) 657 final – SEC(2004) 1200
Not published in the Official Journal


Treaty concerning the Accession to the European Union of Romania of 25 April 2005 – Official Journal L 157 of 21.06.05
After the European Parliament gave its agreement on 13 April 2005, Romania signed its Treaty of Accession to the European Union in Luxembourg on 25 April 2005. Romania is scheduled to join the EU on 1 January 2007.

Comprehensive monitoring report from the Commission COM(2005) 534 final – SEC(2005)1354

Monitoring report of May 2006 from the Commission COM(2006) 214 final – SEC(2006) 596

Communication from the Commission of 16 May 2006 “Monitoring report on the state of preparedness for EU membership of Bulgaria and Romania” COM (2006) 214 final
Not published in the Official Journal

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

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