Romania to enter Schengen Area during the Italian rotating presidency


Premier Victor Ponta, who was Monday evening at the Embassy of Italy for a reception offered by the Italian Ambassador in Bucharest Diego Brasioli on the occasion of the National Day of Italy, said that he is certain that during the Italian presidency of the European Union, in the second half of this year, Romania’s desideratum to “be part of Schengen” will be accomplished.
“I believe that Italy is a positive example for other countries – I do not want to say Great Britain, but other countries in general – that we are Europeans, we can live together, respect each other and I want to say that I am sure that, during the Italian presidency of the European Union, which will be the second half of the year, our desideratum to be part of Schengen will certainly be accomplished,” Ponta stated in an address delivered in Italian, Mediafax reports.
Italy will hold the presidency of the European Union this year, during July 1 – December 31. Several countries, including Netherlands, France, Finland opposed in the past years the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen Zone.
Last autumn, a variant discussed at European level was that Romania accedes to Schengen in two phases, first with the air and sea borders, and later with the land frontiers too.
At the end of April this year, PM Ponta declared that he cannot say that, politically, Romania is closer to Schengen accession as long as the public opinion in France and Netherlands is “cheated,” but Bucharest officials must demand a fair treatment, instead of kindly asking anyone.
During the same event, Ponta assured that he will came to the same location next year, to celebrate the Day of Italy, but he could not say “in what quality” he will attend.
“I hope I will be your guest next year too, but I cannot guarantee in what quality,” the prime minister mentioned. The PSD leader recently stated that he prefers keeping his position at the top of the government, but he will run in the presidential elections this year if there will be no other candidate with chances to win, and this decision belongs to the party.

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