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June 26, 2022

EU to declassify Schengen reports on Romania, Bulgaria

The European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, will pay, on Thursday, an official visit to Romania.

The European Commissioner will meet the prime-minister Emil Boc and the Interior Minister, Traian Igas, the Justice Minister, Catalin Predoiu, and the Foreign Minister, Teodor Baconschi. The Commissioner will also meet the Speaker of the Senate, Mircea Geoana, the Speaker of the Chamber, Roberta Anastase, as well as representatives of the parliamentary committees, is stated in a release by the European Com­mission. The agenda also includes a visit to the SIRENE office, as well as an informal meeting with representatives of the civil society.

The EU member states decided, on Wednesday, in Brussels, that the technical reports which evaluate Romania’s and Bulgaria’s candidacy for the Schengen accession should be declassified and forwarded to the European Parliament, RFI reports, quoted by Mediafax.

According to RFI, by a simple majority, the EU member states decided, on Wednesday, the declassification of evaluation reports. These will be forwarded in the following days to the European Parliament, whence a petition for this was launched as early as December 16, 2011, but was initially rejected. The declassification of the reports marks a premiere for the community. These documents have always been classified, but the European Parliament argues that, in 2007, when eight Eastern European states joined the Schengen Area, they were given more information than is provided now, RFI reports. At present, arguing the information contained in the evaluation reports on Romania’s and Bulgaria’s progress is highly sensitive, the member states offered restricted access to these reports only to a number of MEPs. However, the elected representatives contested the decision, arguing that, without full access to information, they cannot give their stamp of approval, needed for Romania’s and Bulgaria’s Schengen accession. The MEPs set a deadline by which the reports should be declassified, namely, May 2. President Traian Basescu stated, on Tuesday, on TVR, that although Romania might accede, in theory, to the Schengen Area in March 2011, this cannot be achieved in practice, as Romania cannot be separated from Bulgaria, which received two negative reports.

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