January 16, 2007 -- Romanian and Bulgarian lawmakers have taken their place for the first time in the European parliament as the first plenary session got under way since the two former communist countries joined the EU at the beginning of the year.
At the start of the plenary session on January 15, outgoing parliamentary President Josep Borrell, whose successor will be announced today, formally welcomed the 35 new members from Romania and the 18 from Bulgaria.
The arrival of MEPs from the two Balkan countries brings the total number of deputies to 785 from 732 previously.
EU Expands Eastward
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