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December 7, 2022

MEP Negrescu: There are three scenarios currently under discussion regarding Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area

MEP Victor Negrescu on Sunday wrote on his Facebook page that there are three scenarios currently under discussion regarding Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area and that “there are increasing chances that the Netherlands will support Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area, in the end, although we currently have no guarantee.”

Negrescu stated that the information he has comes from Dutch parliamentarians, as a result of recent discussions held at an informal level, between the different parliamentary political formations, with the following scenarios being currently discussed:

1st scenario: The vote for Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area will take place within the Justice and Internal Affairs Council scheduled for December 8-9. In this case, the Netherlands, if it remains the last state that does not have a clear position, will vote in favour of the accession, but by imposing some conditionality, perhaps supported by other European states, by which the European Commission is requested to develop a special monitoring mechanism, based on which part of the rights specific to the Schengen Area could be suspended if certain provisions were violated. The abstention scenario is still being evaluated, but the Dutch government perceives abstention as a defeat they cannot afford in the current context, writes Negrescu.

2nd scenario: The vote is to be rescheduled for an extraordinary session, which may take place later this year, after the conclusions of the last CVM report and the opinion of the Venice Commission on the Laws of Justice in Romania are known. In this case, our country’s entry into the Schengen Area is still conditioned by criteria that have nothing to do with the provisions of the Schengen acquis. The decoupling of Bulgaria from Romania is also being considered, says the Romanian MEP.

3nd scenario: A decision regarding the entry of Romania and Bulgaria into the Schengen Area could be rescheduled for next year, after the completion of the provincial elections in the Kingdom of the Netherlands in March 2023. An uncertain scenario, which raises many question marks, especially since a decision regarding Croatia’s entry into the Schengen area is to be taken by the end of this year. Moreover, the latest polls show a decrease in the popularity of the parties in power in the Netherlands, and a possible defeat could precipitate the fall of the government, according to Negrescu.

The Romanian MEP also writes that, “obviously these work scenarios can undergo changes depending on the political and electoral developments in the Netherlands”. “That’s why, in the last few weeks, we intensified contacts with Dutch MPs and decision-makers, with the aim of convincing them to support Romania and, possibly, to initiate a new resolution in the Dutch Parliament to support our country,” announced Negrescu”.

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