Friday, January 19, 2007

Carpathian crisis

18 months ago, we asked --

How can Brussels possibly make the judgement that Romania, capable of generating this level of unhappiness amongst its citizens, is just about ready to join the EU (except for the steel subsidies)?

Well, they meet the steel subsidy conditions, but they're still generating asylum seekers, as an EU member:

Nationals from EU member states, including some 220 Romanians who applied for asylum here [Dublin] over the past week alone, are not eligible to do so except in exceptional circumstances, Minister for Justice Michael McDowell announced yesterday.

This follows his decision to introduce an EU protocol governing the area, which takes effect from the start of this year. Included among the countries are Bulgaria and Romania, both of which became the latest members of the EU at the start of the year.

Incidentally, Romania's admission to the EU has also triggered latent political tensions in that country. It's possible that at some point the suits in Brussels realised that they'd let the enlargement process get too far along with Romania, but decided to cross their fingers and hope for the best.

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