POLITICS

Boc: We have only EP’s backing on Schengen for now

By    Adina Popescu

While attending the inauguration of works on the Nadlac-Arad highway lot 1 (km 0 of the Nadlac-Arad highway, on Hungarian border), the prime-minister Emil Boc stated that the obstacles to Romania’s and Bulgaria’s Schengen accession were political, arguing that, for now, the two states have only the European Parliament’s backing. “I’m waiting to see what is going to happen at European Council level. I cannot but anticipate the European Parliament will go on backing this endeavour. The decision was clearly stated in the European Parliament, the fact that Romania and Bulgaria must join the Schengen Area. There are political obstacles to our accession, but we will wait and see how political talks proceed within this month’s European Council,” Boc stated. The European Parliament (EP) approved, in fact, a week ago, the resolution calling on the European Council to approve Romania’s and Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen Area.

On the other hand, Interior Minister Traian Igas voiced his dissatisfaction with the modification of terms set to Romania as conditions for the Schengen accession. “We did what we were supposed to do in relation to the other countries. Henceforth, we need to hold talks and meetings with ministers in the other member states and to persuade them that rules should not be changed during the game. If a set of rules have applied so far for the other countries, the same set of rules should apply for Romania,” Igas stated yesterday, while in Leuseni, Moldova, where he attended an action in which a number of jeeps were donated to the Moldovan authorities.

Igas recently met the Finnish ambassador in Bucharest, the representative of one of the countries which opposed Romania’s and Bulgaria’s Schengen accession. According to a release by the Interior Ministry, the ambassador Ulla Vaisto told the minister Igas that his country’s stance was meant to postpone the decision concerning Romania’s accession, not to block it. Igas voiced, in turn, his openness to any form of cooperation with the Finnish side.

Target: 20 pc-absorption rate of EU funds by 2012

PM Boc also stated, while in Nadlac, that the Government’s target is that Romania should reach an EU funds absorption rate of at least 20 pc next year. “I am referring to funds already reimbursed by the European Union because, as regards the projects paid from our own funds, to be refunded by the EU, the amount will be higher, but we should have over 20 pc-absorption rate of funds already reimbursed, which should back economic growth,” the prime-minister argued.

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