December 8, 2022 UPDATE

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SCHENGEN The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council Thursday denied Romania's and Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen free movement area, with 2 votes against. Accession requires a unanimous vote. Of the 27 member countries, the Netherlands and Austria voted against, with the former specifying that it only opposed Bulgaria's accession. Austria argued that it feared an increase in illegal migration. Croatia, on the other hand, received the green light for accession on January 1, 2023. The European Commissioner for home affairs, Ylva Johansson, congratulated Croatia on its accession and said Bulgaria and Romania also deserved to be accepted. In Bucharest, the president Klaus Iohannis said the lack of consensus regarding Romania's bid was profoundly unfair. The Liberal PM Nicolae Ciucă said he was 'deeply disappointed' and emphasised that Austria's vote was 'unjustified'. The president of the Social Democratic Party in power, Marcel Ciolacu, said the European unity and stability had received a harsh blow from Austria, which in difficult times chose to forsake its European friends and serve Russia's interests instead. "Austria's veto to Romania's Schengen accession is an unfair and immoral attitude, lacking solid reasons," the deputy PM and leader of the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania Kelemen Hunor said in his turn. In the opposition, the president of USR party, Cătălin Drulă, sees the JHA Council's decision as 'profoundly unfair', and argues that the Austrian government's position will go down in history as an instance of discrimination. In turn, George Simion the head of AUR party, also in opposition, defines the decision as a 'failure of Romania's current government and of president Klaus Iohannis'.

FARMERS Romanian farmers will benefit from around 16 billion euros under the strategic plan for 2023-2027 approved on Wednesday by the European Commission. Some 10 billion euros account for direct payments and sectoral interventions, while 6 billion will be allocated to rural development. Romania's agriculture minister Petre Daea said the plan also includes an instrument to support farmers who suffered losses as a result of natural disasters, with 400 million euros being earmarked to this end.

REFUGEES The Border Police said almost 65,500 people crossed the border into Romania on Wednesday, including more than 7,300 Ukrainian nationals, down 1.2% compared with the previous day. Since 10th February 2022, two weeks before the Russian army invaded Ukraine, more than 3 million Ukrainians have crossed the border into neighbouring Romania. Most of them have continued their journey to countries in western Europe, but over 80,000 have chosen to stay, according to official figures.

GAUDEAMUS The 29th edition of the Gaudeamus Book Fair organised by Radio Romania is under way in Bucharest until Sunday. The event brings together 200 participants and a variety of editorial products on different formats, for all ages and areas of interest, including music and educational games. The line-up features 600 different events and related projects. As a first, the fair also has special areas dedicated to interactive activities for young visitors. All stands are also available online on the website. The fair's honorary president this year is poet Ana Blandiana. (AMP, CM)
Publicat: 2022-12-08 20:00:00
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