This paper is the edited version of the speech given by Mr Enrico Grillo Pasquarelli at the European Institute of Romania on April 12, 2002. In his speech, Mr. Pasquarelli analyzes Romania’s situation in the larger context of the EU enlargement. The main argument throughout the speech is that accession is not about negotiations and transposition of the legislation, but it is about preparations at home. The lack of proper implementation and enforcement of EU conform legislation may result in a paper-only exercise which will further weaken the administrative capacity, resulting in the end in the inability of the Romanian economy to withstand competition in the Single Market. Romania still has to make progress in a number of areas such as civil service reform, independence of judiciary, corruption, environment, and economic reform, including agriculture. Positive developments can be noticed as well, such as a greater civic and democratic maturity of the Romanian society, and progress towards macroeconomic stability.