Romania and Bulgaria are celebrating their first 15 years as EU member states, with a note of unequal balance, on the one hand improving the quality of life and, on the other, marked by population loss due to immigration and emigration. The EFE wrote in a comment quoted by Agerpres on Saturday that it needed to postpone key reforms to make their economies more viable.
EFE is the Spanish news agency, the largest Spanish language multimedia news agency and the fourth largest cable service in the world after the Associated Press, Reuters and Agencies France-Press.
The two former Communist countries in the Balkans joined the camp on January 1, 2007, three years after the other neighbors in Eastern Europe.
Although bureaucratic austerity has cost them half of the European currency, both countries still receive billions of euros from Brussels, where they have created new infrastructure and expanded their economies, the EFE notes.
Explosion of GDP and wages
According to official figures, per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in Bulgaria today is more than double what it was 15 years ago, which has quadrupled in Romania.
In 2007, Romanians and Bulgarians earned an average of less than 300 euros a month. Today, according to the EFE, the average salary in both countries is 700 euros per month. But despite these improvements, EFE writes that both countries continue to be EU tailors in terms of wages, transport infrastructure, health and education.
“Bulgaria continues to be a member state with low per capita GDP, low labor productivity, low competitiveness, high poverty and social polarization indicators,” said Evan Angelov, EFE of the Bulgarian Academy. Science.
In addition to corruption, Angelov cites the destruction of industrial production and export capacity by the ruling class for failing to formulate long-term policies.
“The opening of the Western European labor market, coupled with Brussels’ insistence that the public sector be dissolved as soon as possible, has created serious population problems,” said Tom Gallagher, a British political scientist and expert on Romania’s modern history.
Bleeding a population
The EFE refers to the employment of hundreds of thousands of Romanians and Bulgarians in Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria or the United Kingdom as the real “population hemorrhage” for the poorest members of the community club.
According to the National Statistics Institute in Sofia, more than 2 million Bulgarians have left the country since 2007. Today, Bulgaria has a population of only 6.5 million, 800,000 a decade ago.
Demographics predict that the country’s population will shrink to 5 million in 20 years.
According to the Center for Migration Research, affiliated with the University of Babeş-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca, about three million Romanians have emigrated to Western Europe since 2002 without a visa.
Although both countries have not yet gained access to the Schengen area, their EU membership has acted as a counterweight to the corrupt tendencies of their political classes, EFE comments.
“I have no doubt that the European Union has played a key role in preventing Romania from becoming a cryptocurrency.
Client with European funds
However, EFE writes that the arrival of European money has fueled corruption.
“During the reign of Poyko Borisov, European funds acted as a catalyst for the takeover of the state,” a European ambassador told the Spanish media anonymously, referring to the former Bulgarian prime minister who has consistently dominated the country’s political life. 2009 and 2020.
The European Ambassador noted the favorable treatment received by merchants close to power in the distribution of European funds.
Rescue Project “Test Stone”
For Gallagher, managing the billions of euros that the EU Recovery and Resilience Mechanism will make available to both countries will be a step towards measuring the commitment of the two states to the club they approved 15 years ago.
“Romania’s relationship with Brussels will not work if a significant portion of 30 30 billion is lost through corruption or wasted due to lack of potential plans,” Gallagher said.
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