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Romania belongs in the Schengen area, Roberta Metsola said
The president of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola has once again stated that Romania is prepared to join the Schengen passport-free area, and it will do it soon. In an address to the joint chambers of the Romanian Parliament, she emphasised that accession to this area is not a gift, but a right earned by Romania, and reminded of the support provided to the Ukrainian refugees. "Romania will join Schengen soon," she added. "Don't give up on Europe", Roberta Metsola said, and explained that she thought the postponement decision was the most disappointing course of action the EU countries could have taken.
The Schengen accession remains a national strategic objective for Romania, and its rejection is ungrounded, the interim Senate Speaker Alina Gorghiu said in her turn:
Alina Gorghiu: "Romania is a trustworthy partner, and all EU member countries can rely on us. This is why, dear Romanians, the outcome of the December 8th vote is completely unjust. Austria's position was totally unacceptable."
In turn, the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and leader of the Social Democratic Party Marcel Ciolacu said Romania must remain confident. We have already won the respect of our European partners by accomplishing our mission in the first line of defence of European security and unity, he said:
Marcel Ciolacu: "This temporary setback cannot define us. Romania will remain a part of the European solution, but at the same time, together with our partners, we will be even more determined to revert the outcome of this unfair vote."
The Schengen area will become stronger, safer and more prosperous with Romania's accession, the PM Nicolae Ciucă said in his turn. He mentioned that Romania will stay engaged and with a constructive attitude in order for this national goal to be attained.
In Bucharest, Roberta Metsola also had a meeting with president Klaus Iohannis. The head of state voiced his hope that Romania will join Schengen next year:
Klaus Iohannis: "In my opinion, it is too soon anyway. It is hard to believe that something will be discussed before January 15, and I don't expect the issue of the Austrian approach and of the Dutch position on Bulgaria to change in 2 weeks' time. We must understand, all of us, together, that these issues must be solved before a new vote in the JHA Council."
The talks at Cotroceni Palace also covered the EU unity in the context of the war in Ukraine, the sanctions against Russia and the recent corruption scandal within the European Parliament, regarding the alleged bribes paid by Qatar and Morocco to some European officials in exchange for influencing decisions of the EU institutions. In this context, Roberta Metsola emphasised that she would work to address the mistakes and restore lost confidence. (AMP)
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