From: Associated Press
Published April 12, 2006 12:00 AM

EU Official Says Romania Making Progress in Environment Protection

BUCHAREST, Romania — The European Union's environment commissioner said Tuesday that Romania was making progress in meeting EU rules, but warned the prospective EU member nation that it needs to urgently improve waste management.

"Romania has shown determination to undertake the remaining reforms that are needed" to join the EU, Stavros Dimas said.

The country is scheduled to join the bloc in 2007. Dimas, who was on a one-day visit to Bucharest, said heavy investment was needed before and after accession to the EU to improve waste management and reduce water pollution.

Romania has negotiated extra time to implement some of EU's environment legislation, with some more expensive requirements delayed until 2018, Dimas said. The bloc is expected to contribute financially.

He urged authorities to devise an investment strategy and plan projects soon.

"The time for Romania to start planning and implementing this investment program is now," Dimas said.

Source: Associated Press

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