Romania should have joined the Schengen Area in 2011, but this has been repeatedly postponed due to opposition from some member countries, among which the Netherlands, Austria and Germany
Romania's Prime Minister, Ludovic
Orban, has underlined in Munich the legitimacy of Romania's aspirations to join
the Schengen Area as the country has long met all the technical accession
criteria. The Romanian official attended the security conference in Munich
where he underlined the fact that 'remaking the full functionality of the
Schengen Area is essential for ensuring the EU's interior security.
Pleading for a Europe open to
enlargement, the Romanian official went on to say that the EU must defend its
external borders, but not maintain interior borders. In an interview with Radio
Romania, Prime Ministers Orban has voiced conviction that the attitude of the
member countries, which are opposing Romania's access to Europe's border-free
area, will change.
Ludovic Orban: "I have
presented strong arguments in favour of accepting Romania's presence in the
Schengen Area. We have met all the conditions to join this area and I am
convinced the attitude of some countries will change."
The Prime Minister, who voiced
opposition to the idea that Romania is not ready to join the border-free
Schengen Area due to corruption, has argued that Bucharest has proposed the
closing down of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism on Justice by
curbing corruption and increasing the independence of its judiciary. According
to the Romanian official, if the European funds are conditioned by the
situation of the rule of law, legislation must have clear stipulations for all
the member states in order to avoid unjust sanctions.
Ludovic Orban: "Being a domain, which can be subjected to
various subjective interpretations, regulations must be very clear, very
precise, with a specific list of infringements on the second article of the
Union Treaty and which are the sanctions to be imposed. And in this way any
subjective interpretation will be avoided."
Prime Minister Orban has also
referred to Romania's accession to the euro area.
Ludovic Orban: "There are
five mandatory conditions that must be met. And the objective of the government
I lead is to meet these conditions and become part of the euro area. The
country's EU integration will be completed after its accession to the euro
Although accession to euro zone has
been on the agenda of the governments in Bucharest for quite some time now, its
deadline has been constantly pushed farther into the future since the country's
EU entry in 2007. If the first deadline to join the area Romania set was 2012,
it seems that Bucharest will now have to wait until 2024 or 2026 to join the
(translated by bill)