DIPLOMACY

Victor Ponta: “Romania won’t be accepted in Schengen Area. There is no consensus”

Premier Victor Ponta stated on Saturday evening that Romania will not be accepted in the Schengen Area at the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council meeting next week because the states that voted against our country’s accession in the past will do so now too.
“The JHA meeting will take place next week and we were very clearly told that there is no consensus. I say it to you more bluntly: those countries that usually voted against are still voting against and so there will be no point in putting it up for vote in the current context. Next year the Netherlands will hold the presidency; you know well how friendly that country was toward Romania over the Schengen issue. We’ll see. For the time being it’s clear that the Schengen case, in what concerns me and the Government, I believe there is no point in pleading too much with somebody that does not want to hear us,” Ponta stated in Amman, Agerpres informs.
The Premier talked about Schengen accession in the context in which he announced he will reanalyze the way in which visas are offered to Jordanian citizens who want to come to Romania, being of the opinion that our country’s visa regime is very rigid.
“We have a problem, in the sense that we have a very rigid visa regime. We’ve always had a very hard regime in the hope that we will join Schengen. Now, we will continue to hold on to this hope as long as hope is alive or as long as Schengen exists. This is the reason why I will analyze the system and I want Romania to be a welcoming country for honest businessmen, for tourists who want to come to Romania, of course while upholding all security regulations. (…) We often have more difficult visa conditions than Germany and France… just because we will enter Schengen if we are harsher. Well, we’ve been harsher and we still haven’t joined Schengen and honestly I don’t believe we have to get our hopes too high in the following period,” Ponta said.

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