Romanian FM reiterates desire to join Schengen


BUCHAREST, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) — Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu reiterated his country’s desire to join the Schengen area as soon as possible when meeting with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok on Monday.

Melescanu said that the topic of the European Union’s (EU) external action was talked about during the meeting, with emphasis on the expansion policy and the bloc’s relationship with states from the Eastern neighborhood.

“I have used this occasion to express my hope that Romania’s firm commitment on these coordinates, including as president of the Council, will be able to translate as quickly as possible into our country’s accession as a full-fledged member of the Schengen Area,” the minister told a press statement together with the visiting Dutch foreign minister.

Schengen accession has been a long process for Romania and Bulgaria, whose entry into the border-free area has been constantly delayed since 2011, while the Netherlands is one of the countries that have opposed their bid most over the years.

According to Melescanu, Europe’s future was another central topic of their discussions and despite some difference in opinions on some specific files, it’s important to note that both countries are essentially working to accomplish this mutual aspiration: consolidating the European unity.

The head of Romanian diplomacy expressed his belief that Romania and the Netherlands will collaborate very well during the time when Romania will hold the presidency of the EU Council on the first half of 2019, and will succeed in consolidating the bilateral relation, bringing an important contribution to the future of Europe.

Block stated that his country upholds the priorities Romania has set for itself during the presidency of the EU Council, in view of promoting the EU’s values.

He specifically mentioned that Romania will take over the presidency of the Council of the EU “at a very important moment in Europe and around the globe” mentioning in this regard Brexit, migration, negotiations on the multiannual financial framework, elections for the European Parliament and the setting up of a new European Commission.