The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee has endorsed the planned 2007 entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the European Union, provided they implement essential reforms.
The two votes by the key committee clears the way for a confirmation vote by the full parliament April 13.
Tuesday, EU Expansion Commissioner Ollie Rehn assured the committee that approval of accession treaties with Bulgaria and Romania will not guarantee them automatic entry. He said the treaties allow EU leaders to delay entry by as much as a year if the countries do not implement agreed economic, judicial and political reforms.
Many European Parliament members would like to maintain some control of the two countries' accession process even after the vote confirming the treaties. Meanwhile, the expansion commissioner assured lawmakers that EU leaders will take their views into account as the accession process continues.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.