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March 30, 2023

Lithuanian EU presidency – moderate optimism on Romania’s Schengen accession

FM Corlatean stated that Romania counts on an active position adopted by the Lithuanian presidency in order to achieve this goal.

The Schengen Accession remains an important goal for Romania and the Romanian authorities count on an active position adopted by the Lithuanian presidency of the European Union in order to obtain a consensual solution, Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean stated yesterday during a joint press conference with Vladimir Jarmolenko, the Lithuanian ambassador to Bucharest.
“This goal was assumed as a priority by the EU trio (the Ireland – Lithuania – Greece consecutive presidencies – editor’s note). It’s a goal that is already reflected in the provisional agenda of the Justice and Home Affairs Council scheduled for December this year. Apart from Lithuania’s individual position, which is one of support, the Lithuanian presidency, which will have to manage the overall positions of the member states, will have to have – and we have this confirmation – an active attitude for a consensual solution based on the two steps I mentioned, so that we count on an active position and towards the generation of a consensual solution and naturally we will cooperate tightly with the Lithuanian presidency,” Corlatean stated. He underlined that the Schengen accession represents “a legitimate expectation” considering the fact that our country has fulfilled all conditions in this sense. The head of Romanian diplomacy underlined that the free movement of persons represents an essential value of the European Union and a fundamental right of European citizens, expressing Bucharest’s expectation for the Lithuanian presidency of the EU “to send a powerful signal in this regard.” The Romanian authorities hope that Romania will accede to the Schengen Area in a first stage with all air and maritime border-crossing points and then with the terrestrial ones.
Ambassador Jarmolenko: Lithuania strongly supports Romania’s aspirations of joining Schengen
Lithuania strongly supports Bulgaria’s and Romania’s aspirations of joining Schengen, but underscores that all necessary conditions must be properly fulfilled, Lithuanian Ambassador in Bucharest said on Monday, evoking a statement made by his country’s President Dalia Grybauskaite. Jarmolenko made this statement in a press conference in Bucharest, where he presented the priorities of the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union that Lithuania took over starting July 1. When asked by the media if the Lithuanian authorities believe that Romania has fulfilled the necessary conditions for the accession to Schengen, he insisted on making a distinction between Lithuania, as an EU member state, and the Lithuanian Presidency, with the role of mediator among the 28 member states. “The member state with the name of the Republic of Lithuania is one thing and the Lithuanian Presidency is another. Most member states agreed that Romania and Bulgaria were prepared [for the accession to Schengen]. There are also states that do not agree. According to the principle of the EU (…), we need to reach a common position of all states. We believe, as you do, that we shall manage it. But what we can do is different from what I feel. I am on duty and my President’s statement is very clear and I quoted my President,” Vladimir Jarmolenko said, quoted by Agerpres.

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