Romania says French, German move to delay its Schengen entry "discriminatory"

09:37, December 22, 2010      

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Romania will not accept any discrimination, even if it comes from the most powerful states of the European Union, said President Traian Basescu Tuesday in reply to France and Germany's move to postpone Romania's Schengen accession.

"I appreciate that the letter is a document discriminating against Romania," he said, referring to the letter sent by French and German interior ministers to the European Commission requesting the postponement of Romania and Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen Area.

According to him, an EU state could join the Schengen area by putting the Schengen acquis into effect and the introduction of new conditions for the access ran counter the European law and created a precedent that could not be accepted not only by Romania but also by any EU member state.

Romania must benefit by the same conditions other countries did when entering the Schengen area, he stressed, adding that "Romania set its Schengen entry in April 2011 as an aim, a date when we thought we could meet all the technical requirements."

The president said again that the Schengen entry only implied technical requirements and from this point of view all the monitoring reports on Romania's preparation informed that all these requirements were met.

Basescu believed that the two ministers having linked Romania's Schengen accession to the management of the EU borders is an exaggeration and references to European asylum policy represent a forced argumentation.

Yet, he admitted that the letter also contained some true things, which cannot be denied and which refer to the functioning of justice and of some state institutions.

"We will have to speed up the reforms in administration, prove efficient in the combat of corruption...but all this has nothing to do with the technical criteria a state has to meet in order to enter the Schengen area," he said.

Basescu voiced hope that in the period immediately following the winter holidays he would be able to clarify all these aspects at both bilateral and EU level.

His reaction followed France and Germany's move to officially request the postponement of Romania and Bulgaria's Schengen accession. In a letter sent by the French and German interior ministers to the European Commission, they claimed that Romania failed to fulfill some of the objectives undertaken as part of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) regarding corruption, justice and the fight against organized crime, mentioning also problems with border management and asylum policy.

Also on Tuesday, Romania's Foreign Ministry expressed regret over the French and German request, stressing the move could risk sapping the credibility of the EU evaluation processes.

Source: Xinhua

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