As of July, Romania and Bulgaria will have limited access to the Schengen digital system
priority of the Romanian diplomacy, Romania's Schengen accession, originally
scheduled for March 2011, is still a goal being pursued, in spite of the fact
that, as president Klaus
Iohannis recently pointed out, the country has met the accession criteria for
over 10 years and is a model of security provision in the EU.
The Romanian official also mentioned that
the Schengen accession remains a major political objective and is part of the
commitment Romania made under the EU Accession Treaty. We hope our efforts will
be acknowledged soon and that a solution to wrap up this process will be found
in due time, the head of state also said.
Romania's accession has been repeatedly
postponed, over the opposition of some Member States, particularly the
Netherlands, which put forth reasons related to the Cooperation and Verification
The fact that Romania, alongside Bulgaria
and, as of recently, Croatia as well, have met the requirements, has been
acknowledged at EU level. Early this month, the European Commission presented a
strategy for strengthening the Schengen area's external borders and for
avoiding the checks introduced by several countries in the area since 2015 and reinforced
by the coronavirus pandemic. The Commission urged the Council to green light "as
soon as possible" the 3 countries' Schengen entry.
The European Commissioner
for home affairs, Ylva Johansson, argued that Schengen accession is an
obligation for all the EU member states that fulfil the requirements, and said
the 3 countries currently meet these requirements. We expect the Council to
make this decision soon, so that Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia may become full
members, the EU official added.
For the time being, under a
decision adopted on Friday by the European Commission, Romania and Bulgaria
will have limited access to the Schengen digital system as of 1 July. They will
be able to read visa information in the database that connects the border
police forces on the EU's external borders with the consular offices of member
countries, but will not be able to introduce data in the system.
Still, the authorities in
the 2 states will be able to check the records of a visa applicant and the
validity of Schengen visas issued by other Member States. The decision was
made after both countries successfully completed a number of technical tests
required for achieving connection with the system.
Full access to the Schengen
databases will be possible once Bulgaria and Romania have been fully integrated
in the visa-free area, the Commission said. (tr.
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