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Romania: President Visits Belgium For EU Talks

Brussels, 29 September 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Romanian President Emil Constantinescu is scheduled today to begin a three-day visit to Belgium and Luxembourg. His trip is expected to focus on Bucharest's efforts to gain eventual membership in the European Union (EU).

In Brussels today, Constantinescu is due to meet the president of the European Commission, Jacques Santer, and Belgium Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene.

In July, the Executive Commission of the EU -- its chief executive and implementing arm -- recommended to the group's 15 member nations that membership talks begin early next year with six countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Cyprus. The commission also said it believes Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia are not yet ready to begin such talks.

The EU itself is due to formally vote on the recommendations at its summit meeting in Luxembourg in December.