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February 3, 2023

Romania will negotiate until the last moment, will plead for a vote on its accession to the Schengen Area at the JHA Council

Romania will negotiate until the last moment and will plead for a vote on its accession to the Schengen Area at the JHA Council on Thursday, according to government sources.

According to the same sources, the Romanian authorities remain firmly involved and engaged in the negotiations.

“We are negotiating until the last moment, Austria is completely isolated at the European level and we will continue to take all the possible that we can,” the abovementioned sources state.


PM Ciuca: Tomorrow at the JHA Council we are going to ask for voting


Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said that Romania will go “to the end” with the steps to join the Schengen Area and will ask for voting in this regard in the JHA Council meeting on December 8, underscoring that “the state of uncertainty can no longer continue” in this regard.

“One thing is certain, we are determined to go all the way in these efforts, including by asking for a vote for Romania in the JHA Council tomorrow, December 8. The current state of uncertainty cannot continue. We have all the arguments, very solid, that support our request, and we will also rely on them in tomorrow’s discussions of the home affairs ministers at the JHA Council, when we will ask for a decision to be formulated, by vote, without any delay, for Romania. We have clear arguments regarding Romania’s preparation in relevant fields for Schengen accession, and our decision to contribute to European security is firm. We have proven these qualities over the years and especially in the context of the crisis in Ukraine. Tomorrow at the JHA Council meeting we will have the voting. Joining the Schengen Area is our national objective,” Ciuca stated, on Wednesday, at the Victoria Palace.

The Prime Minister underscored that the European experts who came to Romania in October and November confirmed the fact that our country meets “absolutely all the necessary criteria” and deserves to be part of the Schengen Area.

“The same experts showed that we ensure high-quality border management, that we implement effective solutions in the management of illegal migration, that we are active in international police cooperation and that the systems and training of our people are exemplary, even providing examples of good practices in some aspects and for the other European states. We acted with total transparency and openness to dialogue with all member states. We provided all the explanations and information requested, including, recently, to Austria, regarding the way we manage illegal migration. Moreover, we showed the opening for the strengthening of bilateral cooperation between the police forces, the border forces, as well as those that manage migrants to help with concrete solutions to solve the problems related to illegal migration,” said Nicolae Ciuca.

According to the PM, one day before the JHA Council in Brussels, which brings together the ministers of interior of the member states, Romania continues to make efforts to obtain the desired result.

“At this point, all the member states support us in advancing the accession, including the Netherlands and Sweden, except for Austria. We also have the firm support of France and Germany, reconfirmed at all levels. Regarding Austria, we can say that we had meetings at the highest levels: the president of Romania met with the chancellor of Austria, the ministers of interior and technical experts. The data, including from the European institutions Frontex, confirm that Romania is not on migration flows that would generate fears. Basically, we cannot talk about a real justification in these moment,” said the head of Executive.

Ciuca mentioned that the problem of illegal immigration is a “very politically sensitive” one in many member states and that there is a need for “more effective response” measures to this phenomenon. He underscored, however, that “blocking Romania’s accession to Schengen” will not bring the answers Austria wants. On the other hand, the accession of our country “will make the Schengen area even safer,” which will have “even more” tools at hand to help control illegal migration.

The Romanian PM underscored that the European Parliament, the European Commission and the other member states “fully share” this assessment and they also mentioned it in the discussions of the last few days with the Austrian chancellor.


JusMin Predoiu to attend JHA meeting in Brussels


Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu will pay a visit to Brussels where he is to attend, between 7 and 14 December, the works of the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) and the General Affairs Council (GAC).

According to a release of the JHA, on the sidelines and in the period between the two Council meetings, the Justice Minister will carry out a series of meetings in Brussels and Luxembourg, with counterparts of EU member states and officials.

Within the JHA Council, Minister Predoiu will present Romania’s standpoint regarding the European judicial and political instruments in the Justice area included on the Council’s agenda, in accordance with the mandate cleared by the Prime Minister.

Moreover, within the GAC meeting, Minister Predoiu will present the progresses registered by Romania in the Justice area within the “Rule of Law” Mechanism and will respond to the questions asked by the foreign affairs and European affairs ministers who are participating in the GAC meeting, on the sidelines of the report, according to the procedure carried out by all the other EU member states.

Justice Minister Predoiu will have a series of bilateral meetings with officials of the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Justice Ministers of other EU member states and with the European Chief Prosecutor of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO).


MEP Negrescu: Despite Austria’s opposition, Romania still has four possible solutions to enter the Schengen Area


Despite Austria’s opposition, Romania still has four possible solutions to enter the Schengen Area, says MEP Victor Negrescu.

According to him, “option 1 is for our country to ask for the topic to be maintained on the agenda and to insist that the discussion takes place within the Justice and Home Affairs Council of December 8, where we can try, as other states have done it in past, to put pressure on Austria to support us.”

“As a second option, Romania, with the support of the President of the European Council and the Czech Presidency of the EU Council, can include the topic with the agenda of the European Council meeting of December 15-16 and insist then on a positive vote. The Czech Presidency and Bulgaria are already making efforts in this regard,” Negrescu wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

He says that “option 3 would be for Romania to press for the establishment of a certain date when this topic could be included with the JHA agenda or for an entry into the Schengen Area different from Croatia, after the eventual completion of some additional assessment stages, generated by the possible decoupling from Bulgaria.”

Also, according to the MEP, “option 4 is for our country to appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union, but this could only be done after a vote within the JHA. However, this is an option that would take longer to complete.


Compiled from Agerpres

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