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EU: Greater Reforms Needed in Bulgaria for Entry

The top European Union enlargement official says Bulgaria must press ahead with judicial reforms to ensure it gains entry into the bloc next year.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said Tuesday that recent changes to Bulgaria's judiciary have brought only "limited" improvements, and more needs to be done. He also expressed concern about efforts to combat corruption.

Bulgaria's government responded, saying it expects to see results in coming weeks from its judicial reforms and anti-corruption program.

Rehn also praised Romania for taking action to improve its courts and battle corruption.

He is to issue his recommendation next month on whether the two nations should be invited to join the bloc in 2007 or the following year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.