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For its accession to Schengen, Romania is counting on the support of Sweden, the country that is now holding the presidency of the EU
Sweden took over the six-month presidency of the European Union from the Czech Republic and, even if the case of Romania and Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area is not a priority for the new presidency, Romanian diplomacy is trying to keep the topic high on the agenda. In December, at the last Justice and Home Affairs Council, Austria blocked Romania's accession to the free movement area, and the Netherlands blocked Bulgaria's.
The Romanian Foreign Minister, Bogdan Aurescu, used the opportunity offered by the official launch, on Thursday, in Bucharest, of the Swedish presidency of the European Union to reaffirm that accession to Schengen is a major priority for Romania. Aurescu said that the country counts on Sweden's support in this case, as a mediator. Romania, he stressed, proved to be a de facto guardian of the security of the European Union against the background of the war in Ukraine. The events in the neighboring country have demonstrated that Romania has both the competence and the will to effectively respond to major challenges, believes Bogdan Aurescu, according to whom the refusal to include Romania in Schengen was incorrect.
"Unfortunately, despite our active contribution to the security of Europe and the implementation of the Schengen acquis, and despite the fact that we are ready to become Schengen members, the JHA Council did not achieve unanimity in December with regard to our accession, and incorrectly, we were denied the chance to become members of the Schengen Area. A positive decision regarding our presence in the Schengen Area is essential to build a united and prosperous European Union", the Romanian Foreign Minister said.
Bucharest hopes that the Schengen issue will be imposed on the agenda of the next meeting of the JHA Council, and the Swedish ambassador to Bucharest, Therese Hydén, stated that this will happen when all conditions allow it.
"We took over this very important file from the Czech Republic. This is a very important matter and we will try to find a solution. We collaborate closely with Romania on this issue and with all interested and involved parties. Schengen will be on the agenda of the council meetings when the conditions are met, that is, when Austria has changed its position towards Romania and, practically, when things have become clear regarding Romania and Bulgari", said Therese Hyden. "Sweden is committed to this path and will make efforts", she also stressed.
In turn, the head of the European Commission Representation in Bucharest, Ramona Chiriac, recalled that the Community Executive supports the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the European area of free movement. "With the two countries in Schengen, we are stronger, not weaker. In Europe we are safer, not in danger, and we are more prosperous and more attractive as a single market for our international partners" - said the head of the European Commission Representation. (MI)
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