Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc argued that the Roma issue is a common obligation of Romania and of the other European countries and that it will not affect the country’s accession to the Schengen Space.
„I think that Romania, along with all the other European countries, shares a common obligation with respect to the Roma issue,” said the Romanian Prime Minister on Wednesday, in the end of the government session, when asked if the reproaches from the French officials regarding the manner in which Romania is managing the Roma issue could affect the country’s accession to the Schengen Space.
As regards the statement of the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Pierre Lellouche, that the Romanian Prime Minister would have promised him in February to appoint a Secretary of State for integrating Roma into the society, which has not happened, Boc replied that Romania does have such a Secretary. „Mr. Valentin Mocanu is appointed State Secretary for Roma issues within the Ministry of Labour,” said Boc.
The French State Secretary for European Affairs, Pierre Lellouche, has criticized in an interview to RFI the Romanian government for the manner in which it manages the Roma issues. The French official reproached the authorities in Bucharest that they do not fulfill their promises and said that France has ‘reservations’ in respect to Romania’s accession to the Schengen Space in 2011. He said European countries are responsible for what they do to their citizens and that Romania is the first responsible for the Roma people.