In a plenary session in Strasbourg on Tuesday, the European Parliament adopted a motion for a resolution urging the member states to allow Romania and Bulgaria to join the Schengen free-travel area without delay.
The resolution, adopted with 547 votes in favour, 49 votes against, and 43 abstaining, says that the European Council should adopt a decision on Romania’s and Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen free movement area by the end of 2022. This should ensure the abolition of checks on persons at all internal borders for both countries in early 2023.
PM Ciuca: EP’s resolution reconfirms that the necessary conditions are met
Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca says that the resolution adopted on Tuesday by the European Parliament on the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the travel-free Schengen area reconfirms that the necessary conditions are met, and a decision in this regard should be taken.
“The resolution adopted today by the European Parliament regarding the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area reconfirms that our expectations to join Schengen area are justified and legitimate. The necessary conditions are met. A decision should be taken,” Ciuca said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
Senate’s Gorghiu: Romania should, deserves and has the right to be in the Schengen area
Interim President of the Romanian Senate Alina Gorghiu says that Romania “should, deserves and has the right to be in the Schengen area,” and the resolution adopted by the European Parliament urging the EU member states to allow Romania and Bulgaria in the Schengen area, is the most important decision in that regard.
“The greatest opportunities are born in a time of crisis, and today we have serious arguments to successfully complete an endeavour supported without reservations from the highest level of representation in the Romanian state: Presidency, government, diplomacy, Parliament. We are talking about accession to the Schengen Area, which today witnesses the most important decision, namely a resolution regarding Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area, which was truly a collective effort, the result of a consistent endeavour by colleagues in the European Parliament. We are talking about 547 votes in favour of Romania and Bulgaria joining the Schengen Area, an effort that the EPP made and I want to thank all colleagues in the EPP group and the Romanian colleagues in the European Parliament,” Gorghiu told AGERPRES on Tuesday.
According to her, Romania has proved, amid healthcare challenges and, more recently, amid the security challenges of the last year, that it is ready to defend the border of the European Union.
“I can tell you firmly that Romania did not sit idly by during this period and made successive and very sound contributions to all European collective efforts that dealt with social challenges, healthcare challenges and especially the security challenges of the past year. And we demonstrated once again that we are very well prepared to defend the eastern border of the European Union. Eleven years have passed since the European Commission recommended the European Council that Romania and Bulgaria be admitted to the Schengen area, but there have always been obstacles or political conditionality, many of them unjustified. Today it seems that we are on the right track, in a very difficult context, but I hope that we will not miss this opportunity. I can assure you that we are making every effort to make this national project a reality as quickly as possible,” Gorghiu added.
She added that Romania met the technical requirements for accession long time ago.
“Romania met the technical requirements for accession long time ago; there were some obstacles due to political assessments made by others, but I believe that in recent years, especially in the last two years, Romania has proved that it should, deserves and has the right to be in the Schengen area,” said Gorghiu.
In a Facebook post, she said that to Romanians, “membership of Schengen area is synonymous with the full exercise of the right to free movement.”
IntMin Bode: I am happy for this recognition from the European Parliament
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Lucian Bode, welcomed the resolution adopted on Tuesday by the European Parliament (EP) regarding the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area, emphasizing the reconfirmation of the EP’s “constant” position of “firm” support for our country’s efforts and the entire path to achieve this goal.
“I thank the members of the European Parliament for today’s vote and for underlining Romania’s outstanding efforts in managing the external borders and ensuring European security, elements that correctly reflect what Romania has continuously demonstrated to its European partners. I am happy for this recognition from the European Parliament and I hope that we will see the positive echoes of the resolution passed today as soon as possible by adopting the accession decision,” Bode wrote on Facebook.
Transport Minister Grindeanu: Romania deserves to join the Schengen area because it has met all the necessary criteria for many years
Transport Minister Sorin Grindeanu stated on Tuesday that Romania deserves to join the Schengen area because it has met all the necessary criteria for many years.
When asked how he sees the fact that the European Parliament passed the resolution regarding Bulgaria’s and Romania’s accession to Schengen, but the Netherlands abstained from voting, Grindeanu said “I believe that it is a signal [the adoption of the resolution] and I hail it and I’m glad that this resolution which started from the Socialists Group has passed. It is an important step. I know very well from the Interior Minister that in the upcoming period there are several essential points which we must achieve, I believe that last week’s assessment made by the experts regarding our technical capability came out very well. Moreover, there is the JHA Council [Justice and Home Affairs Council], the Interior Minister will go in the coming period to support the cause.”
He mentioned that he stays optimistic regarding Romania joining Schengen and doesn’t change his view.
“Romania deserves to be in Schengen. Romania has met all these criteria for many years and we should be there. Over the past seven years there have been teams of experts who came to see, on punctual area, if we meet these criteria. We must be there and efforts are put in and you have to acknowledge them. It would be a recognition of our state within the European Union,” Grindeanu stated at the Palace of Parliament.
Minister Bolos: EP resolution, greenlight to Romania; there is no room for mistakes
Minister of European Investment and Projects Marcel Bolos said on Tuesday that the European Parliament’s resolution urging member states to allow Romania to join the Schengen area is a green light to the country.
“Romania has taken a big step, we should rejoice; it is a day of joy for Romania, because the European Union Parliament’s decision was greenlight to Romania to enter the Schengen Area. It is true that it is a first step, but I am convinced that all the necessary efforts are being made by the government. I know it, I know the involvement of relevant ministers, including the government of Romania, including the prime minister himself,” Bolos said at the Parliament House.
He also made a call to unity.
“All of us, all Romanians, have this common goal to be accepted in the Schengen area, and from that point of view we must all make efforts for Romania to enter the Schengen area for our good, for everyone’s good. There is no room for mistakes, and we have to stay united. It is about Romania and the fate of Romania,” said Bolos.
PSD’s Ciolacu: A large majority in support of Romania’s accession to the Schengen area in the European Parliament
Social Democratic Party (PSD) President, Marcel Ciolacu demanded that the Romanian parties that are part of the EPP and Renew groups do all they can to convince their colleagues that Romania deserves to enter Schengen, stating that he is worried by the abstentions of their representatives in the European Parliament on the non-legislative resolution voted on Tuesday by which the member states are urged to allow Romania and Bulgaria to join the free movement area without delay.
“A large majority in support of Romania’s accession to the Schengen area in the European Parliament! The only political group that voted fully in favor of this resolution was the group of European social democrats! No abstentions, no votes against! This result confirms that the steps taken by the PSD were correct and demonstrates the trust and support we enjoy within our European family. In fact, this resolution was initiated by the S&D group in the European Parliament. I am truly concerned about the abstentions of the representatives from the Renew group and from the EPP. I ask everyone the Romanian parties that are part of the two European political families to take all steps to convince their colleagues that Romania deserves to be in Schengen,” Ciolacu wrote on Facebook.
USR reports that all his members in the EP voted in favour of the resolution regarding the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area
The Save Romania Union (USR) reports that all its members in the European Parliament have voted in favour of the resolution calling for the speeding up of the procedures for the entry of Romania and Bulgaria into the Schengen Zone.
“The European Parliament has just voted on the resolution asking the Council of Europe that Romania and Bulgaria be admitted to Schengen. All USR (Save Romania Union) MEPs voted for the adoption of the resolution. Out of the 639 MEPs present in the room, 547 votes were recorded for this resolution, which means that Romania and Bulgaria have an overwhelming support to take the next step. The European Parliament has decided: Romania’s place is in Schengen,” reports USR.
MEP Vlad Marius Botos stated that diplomatic efforts “must bestrengthened” at this moment, because the conditions for accession are met, but “only one party is holding us in place,” from the EPP family, from the Netherlands.
For his part, MEP Vlad Gheorghe noted an “overwhelming vote” in the European Parliament in favour of Romania’s entry into Schengen, as well as the fact that the option was greeted with applause.
Compiled from Agerpres