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Odobescu (Romanian ForMin): We are already in Schengen, Constanta Port to be highlighted much more

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Romania is already in Schengen, and the first step of accession, the one with the air and maritime spaces, has advantages such as highlighting the Port of Constanta, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luminita Odobescu declared for AGERPRES.

„The accession to the air and sea space is a positive step with important, positive consequences for the Romanian citizens who travel by air and, likewise, the Port of Constana will be highlighted much more through this decision. The process is irreversible. We are already in Schengen, even if we still have one more step to take, namely the lifting of controls at the land border. I want to emphasize this – that it is an irreversible process,” said the head of Romanian diplomacy.

She stated that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Interior will continue the efforts to complete this process, with the integration of land borders in the European area of free movement, „in close cooperation with the Austrian side, but also with the European institutions.”

The minister avoided estimating a date for Romania’s full accession.

„This decision belongs to the member states and it is very important to continue the dialogue with the other member states. I am cautious in giving a fixed date, but what I can tell you is that we will continue the dialogue both with the Austrian side and with the European Commission. Mainly with the European Commission to implement those agreed on the strengthening of the protection of the internal borders, the European Commission making a statement in this regard and expressing its support, including financial resources, to strengthen the protection of the external borders of the European Union,” said Odobescu.

She mentioned that Romania has a pilot project on the border with Serbia, of good practices in terms of asylum procedures, with the support of the European Commission.

„Besides fulfilling the conditions provided for in the acquis communautaire, Romania does its duty in terms of the protection of external borders and is a contributor to the security of the European Union,” concluded the Romanian minister.

Controls at the sea and air borders between Romania or Bulgaria with any Schengen state will disappear from March 31. The complete accession of the two states, including land borders, remains a topic of discussion at the level of the European community this year as well.

AGERPRES

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