Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
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What Russia has always feared from the West
Romania and Bulgaria join the EU
Officials celebrated as the EU flag was raised in Bucharest
Romania and Bulgaria are celebrating their entry into the European Union at midnight on New Year's Day with rock music and traditional dancing.
Thousands are attending the concerts in the countries' capitals.
Several European leaders will join in a folk dance in Bucharest, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will give a speech in Sofia.
From 1 January the EU will have 27 members - up from 15 three years ago - and a population of half a billion.
The celebrations began early in Romania, as the EU flag was raised outside the government headquarters in Bucharest to the European anthem, Beethoven's Ode to Joy.
The president of the European parliament and other EU officials watched as fireworks lit up the night sky.
Watch the EU map grow
Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu said this was a moment Romanians had been waiting for since the overthrow of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu 17 years ago.
President Traian Basescu thanked Romanians for their efforts and Europe for its support.
Bucharest mayor Adriean Vidreanu promised "a traditional party that Romanians will never forget".
European Enlargement Commissioner and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier are among the politicians expected to attend a traditional circle dance in the city.
In Sofia, a pyramid of light will illuminate the sky, with rays emanating from the city's Orthodox cathedral, its Armenian church, a synagogue, a mosque and another church.
Throughout the day musicians have been warming up on stage in Battenberg Square, which once housed the mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov, the patriarch of Bulgarian communism.
Tonight it is a shrine to western capitalism and the values of Nato, reports the BBC's Malcolm Brabant in the capital.
The accession of the two new countries comes amid falling enthusiasm in Europe for the bloc's continuing expansion.
The Bulgarian economy still lacks a certain competitiveness
Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev
UK imposes stricter curbs
A recent Eurobarometer poll suggested only 41% of people in the 15 states that were part of the EU before 2004 supported further enlargement.
The two new countries will be subject to strict monitoring after they join, to ensure they make more progress in the fight against corruption and organised crime.
They will face export bans on certain foods, and Bulgaria has been warned that 55 of its aircraft could be grounded unless they reach EU safety standards.
Analysts say there is a risk that EU aid will be mis-spent, or just not taken up because the countries' institutions are too disorganised.
There are also fears that the countries' economies will fail to compete with the rest of the EU's once trade barriers come down.
"The Bulgarian economy still lacks a certain competitiveness," Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev has admitted.
Both Bulgaria and Romania are much poorer than the rest of the EU, with GDP per capita of about 33% of the EU average, compared with 50% in Poland.
Bulgaria: Key facts
Romania: Key facts
Some Western European member states fear a flood of new immigrants, but officials in both countries say most of those who wanted to work abroad have already left.
Most of the 15 older EU member states have put in place restrictions on the free movement of workers from the two new members - though Finland and Sweden are two exceptions.
Most of the 10 newer member states, including Poland, say they will erect no barriers.
Bulgaria closed two reactors of its Kozloduy nuclear power station in the hours before joining the EU - one of the last remaining conditions of membership.
Also on 1 January, Slovenia will become the first of the 10 states which joined the EU in 2004 to adopt the European currency, the euro.
The existing Slovenian currency, the tolar will remain in dual use with the euro for 14 days.
Germany takes over from Finland for six months as the country holding the presidency of the European Union.