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13 May 2019

Romania Could Partially Join the Schengen Area With Its Airports This Year

Emil HurezeanuAfter recent comments by the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte that Romania is not going in the right direction in its endeavor to join the Schengen Area, which sparked reactions among Romanian officials, the Romanian Ambassador to Germany Emil Hurezeanu has stepped into the debate.

According to Ambassador Hurezeanu, Romania’s accession to the Schengen Zone will probably happen during the next European Council summit, which is set to take place in June this year.

Probably at the summit in June will also be announced a first admission into Schengen, with airports,” he said, insisting that Romania is an equal country to others as France and Germany.

He also commented on the statement of Dutch PM’s Mark Rutte who said last week that Romania will be admitted to the Schengen Zone when it “complies with the rule of law and democracy.

Nowhere is [only] peace and harmony,” Ambassador Hurezeanu said regarding Rutte’s statement, inferring that other countries in the Schengen had their own problems with the rule of law and democracy.

Rutte’s comments have sparked reactions among the highest Romanian officials, including PM Viorica Dăncilă who indicated that the stance of the Netherlands on Romania’s accession to the Schengen is political.

I do not know what the Premier of the Netherlands has said… We met the technical criteria for joining the Schengen Area as early as 2011, which is confirmed by the European Commission. We know there are some countries that politically disagree with this… So Romania’s place is in the Schengen area,” she said.

Romania remains one of the only four EU members that are not part of the Schengen Zone, not including the UK and Ireland that chose to opt-out.

The European Parliament had confirmed that Romania meets all criteria to join the Schengen Area, and as such has called for its accession in June 2011.

In December 2018, a majority of MEPs had voted in favor of a resolution that called for the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the border-less Schengen Zone.

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