ROMANIA MONITOR

Date: 20 June 2019

EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship: Romania Is Closer to the Schengen Zone Accession

The EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos assessed that Romania had fulfilled its commitments thanks to which it should technically be able to join the Schengen zone soon. Is it the progress this time?

SOURCE: EUROPARL.EUROPA.EU

The statement made by the EU Commissioner quoted by zf.ro is clear:

“I would like to convey a clear message to our Romanian friends: Romania will very soon become a member of the Schengen area. I closely cooperated with the Romanian authorities. Romania has fulfilled almost all its commitments, therefore, we are very close to open the doors to out Romanian friends – Dimitris Avramopoulos said. The Commissioner said that even though the Romanian accession to the Schengen zone was very close, there were still some unsolved technical problems.

“There are several issues mostly of technical nature which have to be dealt with. We are very close. This is not a matter of time but we have to discuss final details. The same situation concerns Bulgaria and Croatia” – Avramopoulos said.

This is not the first time when the EU politicians and officials assure about their support for the Romanian struggle for the accession to the Schengen zone. In December, during the voting in the European Parliament, a vast majority of MEPs voted for the accession of this country and Bulgaria to the group of countries with free border crossing. At that time, it was said that both countries were to join the zone “as soon as possible” but the date was not specified. The agreement of all member states is a formal requirement.

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Little attention is devoted to the fact that the accession to the Schengen zone will not be profitable for Romania in every respect. There may be problems with trade with Serbia, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova as Hungary is the only member of the Schengen zone bordering Romania. In the case of Bulgaria (which borders with only two members of the EU – Romania and Greece) this means more strict controls and consequently longer queues at the border with Turkey.

Currently, twenty-six European countries belong to the Schengen zone. Among all EU countries, except for Romania, only Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus do not belong to the zone. Accession to the zone entails the unification of the border check standards, visa system, work of services and data protection.

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