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August 17, 2022

Netherlands: Not respecting internal market may be new argument against Schengen accession

Dutch Minister of Immigration and Asylum Affairs Gerd Leers warned Romanian President Traian Basescu that he should respect the EU internal market because failure to do so would represent a new reason to block Romania’s Schengen accession. “This isn’t about vegetables, it’s about corruption,” Leers stated at the meeting of EU Internal Affairs Ministers, explaining Netherlands’s position against Romania’s and Bulgaria’s Schengen accession bids, Mediafax informs.

“I hope the President respects the internal market, otherwise we might find yet another reason for which Romania has no place in Schengen,” he added. The statement came after President Basescu stated on Saturday, while shopping in a supermarket in Bucharest, that Romanians should not buy Dutch vegetables. “I have to admit I avoided buying Dutch vegetables as much as I could. When I didn’t buy Romanian products I preferred buying Turkish and Spanish products. (…) And I believe it’s better not to buy Dutch vegetables,” he said.

The Netherlands continues to oppose Romania’s and Bulgaria’s Schengen bids, Gerd Leers stated, pointing out that the two countries have to register clear progress in fighting criminality and corruption, progress that will have to be noted in the next EC report.

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