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10 May 2019

Dutch PM: Romania Will Join Schengen Zone “When It Complies With the Rule of Law and Democracy”

Mark RutteThe Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has once again showed that he opposes the accession of Romania to the Schengen Area anytime soon.

During the EU summit in Sibiu, on May 9, PM Mark Rutte asserted that Romania would be ready to join the Schengen territory “when it complies with the rule of law and democracy”, estimating that the country is not going in the right direction for now.

Romania will be admitted when you will comply with the rule of law and democracy. For now, you are not going in the right direction,” the Dutch official told to journalists.

Asked about PM Rutte’s statement, the Prime Minister of Romania Viorica Dăncilă said that Romania’s place is in the Schengen Area.

I do not know what the Premier of the Netherlands has said, but I can tell you one thing: Schengen is not linked to any CVM [Cooperation and Verification Mechanism] or other considerations. We met the technical criteria for joining the Schengen area as early as 2011, which is confirmed by the European Commission,” PM Dăncilă said.

She also indicated that the stance of Netherlands on Romania’s accession to Schengen is just political.

We know there are some countries that politically disagree with this. I think there must be another approach: if we are all talking about Europe’s future, when all the criteria are met, all countries, if they have the same obligations, have the same opportunities. So Romania’s place is in the Schengen area,” She concluded.

This is not the first time that the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has openly showed his belief that Romania is yet not ready to join the border-free Schengen Area. During an official visit in Bucharest in September last year, Rutte had straightforwardly told to his Romanian counterpart that he did not agree with her when she said that “Romania deserves to be in the Schengen area.”

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