Romanian MEPs supported on Wednesday, in the plenary session of the European Parliament, the fastest possible accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen Zone, in the context in which the two countries have fulfilled all the necessary technical conditions since 2011 in this regard, according to Agerpres.
A debate devoted to the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen Zone of free movement took place on Wednesday afternoon in Strasbourg, where the plenary session of the European Parliament is taking place. The vote on the EP resolution concerning this topic is planned for the plenary session of October 17-20.
„This year, since the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, Romania has hosted over 1 million Ukrainian refugees. Romania can secure the border of the Schengen Zone under any conditions. The inclusion of the two countries will make the entire European Union safer. Just as we agreed for Sweden and Finland to join NATO, so we now demand that Romania and Bulgaria join Schengen,” said Siegfried Muresan (European People’s Party group) in his speech.
MEP Dan Nica (S&D group) welcomed the declaration of the European Commission, which reconfirmed the fact that Romania and Bulgaria are ready to become full members of Schengen, and that of the Czech presidency of the EU Council, which wants unanimity at the summit in December regarding the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area. He qualified the current situation as „humiliating and intolerable” for our country and launched a call for European solidarity.
In Dragos Tudorache’s opinion (Renew group), as he also welcomed the statements of the representatives of the European Commission and the EU Council, the causes of the current situation in which Romania and Bulgaria are outside the Schengen Zone, even though they meet all the technical conditions, should be sought „not only in the Council, but also in our parliaments and governments.” He spoke for a pact in the national parliament for Schengen.
„I cannot hide my stupor and shock at what I heard. 11 years ago the conclusion was reached that Romania and Bulgaria are ready for Schengen, but in 2022 we still have this discussion,” said Cristian Terhes (European Conservatives and Reformists group), in reaction to the statements of the German MEP Guido Reil (Identity and Democracy group, ID), who argued that Romania and Bulgaria should not be accepted in Schengen and that their accession to the European Union was a mistake.
In his turn, Dacian Ciolos (Renew group) wanted to answer Guido Reil, by saying that if Romania had not impeccably managed the situation of the Ukrainian refugees who arrived at the border, then the German MEP would have truly seen „what the Far West means.” According to the former PM, through Romania’s accession to the Schengen Zone, the entire European Union will become stronger.
In his speech, MEP Eugen Tomac (PPE group) asked „whom does it serve to keep Romania and Bulgaria outside the borders of the European Union?” He opined that „it is wrong when, for petty political reasons, two European nations are kept outside the Schengen Zone.” „We have the right to be treated fairly,” insisted Tomac.
MEP Carmen Avram (S&D group) too pleaded for the rapid accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen Zone, as they have been meeting all the necessary criteria for 11 years, and she called for „an end to discrimination against Romania.”