Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos voiced his optimism on Wednesday in respect to the possibility of Romania joining the Schengen Area with the air borders this year.
Asked if, after the meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, Romania will have Germany’s and France’s support for the accession to Schengen with the air borders this year, Ciolos replied: “We shall see. I am optimistic. There are prospects. I cannot make a statement. I have tabled all the arguments and I didn’t feel any substantial counter-arguments to what I have said so far. I believe that the message from our side has been understood. Of course, this decision, if it is made and when it is made, will be made in a wider context. It doesn’t only concern Romania’s request, which is not a new one. It is an already known one. Other factors than the fact that Romania has fulfilled its commitments will be definitely taken into account.”
The Romanian Prime Minister explained that Romania has met the criteria for the accession to the Schengen Area and proved that it is capable to defend EU’s external borders.
“In the discussions in Berlin and in the discussions here, I underlined that Romania’s being accepted, at least in a first stage, as these things have been discussed, by joining the Schengen area with the air borders of the airports, would only acknowledge that the Schengen Area continues to be of interest and that we are aware that measures need to be made for the Schengen Area to be credible, mostly through the capacity of ensuring the European borders protection. I believe we are on the right path, anyway, so much the more that there are signs of acknowledgement of the fact that Romania has made progress in an area in which it assumed certain commitments. (…) These progresses were not made during the tenure of the current Government, but are highlighted now,” Ciolos told a press conference at Romania’s Embassy in Paris.