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Bulgaria seeks better communication on EU threshold

Date: 22.09.2005

Just fifteen months ahead of accession date for Bulgaria and Romania, the key messages on EU should be structured in a direct and outspoken manner so that negative misinterpretations and excessive optimism are avoided.

This was said by Stergios Varvaroussis from the Directorate-General for Enlargement of the European Commission during an international seminar of information and communication experts held in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city.

We cannot go very far without the help of citizens, he pointed out and stressed how important is to listen carefully to citizens and to build a capacity to hear and understand their desires and needs.

The experience of the EC has shown that informed citizens can actively be involved in an informed public debate, Varvaroussis explained to some 50 participants in the two-day event.

Whatever fears exist about enlargement, they are due to unawareness or misunderstanding of the process, said Evgenia Koldanova, Deputy Foreign Minister.

She believed EU citizens are not well informed that the standards and engagements Bulgaria and Romania strive to meet ahead of accession are just as stern as the same were for the ten newest members of the bloc.

In June 2004 Bulgaria wrapped up its EU accession negotiations and signed the EU Accession Treaty, together with Romania, on 25 April 2005.

On this background, Bulgarian government will develop a new Work Program 2006 to reflect the new priorities in the country's process of integration to the European Union.

READ SOON an interview with Angela Filote, Press and Communication Officer at the EC Delegation in Bucharest.

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