President Iohannis talks about the possibility of postponing a decision on Romania’s accession to Schengen: „If we don’t have a certainty by 8 December, it is possible to postpone the decision by a month or two months”
President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday in Riga that if there is no certainty of a positive vote on Romania’s accession to Schengen by the JHA Council on 8 December, it is possible to postpone the decision by a month or two.
„I think that 8 December has been used as a final deadline, which is not the case. 8 December is the first possibility when this issue can be discussed and my interest, ours, is that when the vote is taken we have a clear vote for Romania’s access to Schengen. It is not useful for anyone to force a vote that may not be the one expected. This is about the 8th of December. Romania’s chances are relatively good. We have a good chance of being accepted into the Schengen area, but as I said there is no guarantee of that. There are EU member states that still have questions for us, that still have questions for the Schengen system,” the head of state said after his meeting with his Latvian counterpart, Egils Levits, Agerpres reports.
He stressed that Romania is willing and ready to provide answers to countries that still have questions about Schengen.
„These are legitimate questions and we are willing and ready to give answers. This is how we can now answer to our Dutch friends, for example, that the CVM has been lifted and this barrier no longer exists. We have for all those who are interested the two sets of experts who checked Romania’s preparedness and both rounds of experts found that we are very well prepared. We do not have a migration flow, that is for our Austrian friends, and for those in Sweden who had some questions that were more about police cooperation, we can tell them that we are not only prepared mentally, we are prepared with people, so we are really prepared and there have been programs so far that have given good results. We are willing to expand them. We are not just saying that the Schengen Area becomes safer if Romania joins, we are proving this and we will continue to prove it,” Iohannis said.
He said it is desirable that by the JHA Council all these questions are answered and that there is an agreement.
„This is the option we want and this is the option that has been proposed by the Presidency of the Council of the Union, which is currently held by the Czech Republic, but I want to be very clear that if for various reasons we do not succeed by 8 December in having a certainty that things are very clear, there is a possibility that this decision will be postponed, by a month or two months until all the questions are answered clearly and correctly and everyone is convinced that we are not only not a vulnerability, we would be a real gain for the Schengen area, and to add to what I said – some have questions for us and others question Schengen. The Schengen area operates according to rules that were established a few years ago. The world has changed. We know that and we need to improve some approaches and some procedures. We are part of this process. We are now part of the process of improving the Schengen Area and obviously, if we become part of it, we will continue these steps, but the argument that if the Schengen Area is not perfect Romania and others must stay outside does not seem to me to be relevant”, concluded the Head of State.
President Klaus Iohannis is on an official visit to Latvia on Wednesday.
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