Geoana: We want to join Schengen, as a Romania with powerful borders represents a plus to Europe

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The Schengen governance amendment could indirectly help Romania as far as its accession to the free movement area is concerned, Chairman of the Senate’s and Deputies’ Chamber’s special committee on Romania’s accession to Schengen Area, Mircea Geoana, said on Monday, underscoring that a Romania with solid borders represented an advantage to Europe.

‘We are not trying to please and convince anyone of the fact that having powerful border, of not having interior borders in Europe represents Romania’s interest in the first place. (…) We do not want to join Schengen only to collect another decoration. We do not want to join Schengen only to say we had another diplomatic success. We want to join Schengen because it is fair to be part of Schengen, because it helps us economic-wise and trade-wise and because to entire Europe a Romania with solid borders represents a plus and not a minus,’ Geoana said, after the meeting of the committee he heads with ambassadors and representatives of the diplomatic missions of Schengen member states.

Mircea Geoana underscored it was very important for Romania to make pressure for the accession to Schengen.

‘We had five postponements of the decision concerning Schengen for Romania. The last discussion took place in March and I believe it is compulsory for Romania to make all possible steps together with those of Bulgaria to determine a positive decision being taken in December, even if it is a decision for an accession in two stages – ports and airports and land borders maybe a little later. I believe that also from a strategic and tactical point of view it is very important that Romania should maintain pressure on this issue, because if we state that our objective is a little further, even if there are elements leading to such a conclusion, we lose our pressure and negotiation power for December,’ the Senator said.

He showed that the objective assumed by the committee he ran and by the Government was Romania’s accession to Schengen in December 2013.

The Senator criticised the association of the accession to Schengen with the CVM, pointing out that these topics were separate.

‘Those who speak today of Romania’s still unfulfilled obligations on the issue of the CVM on Justice and the fight against corruption have no right when they associate the CVM topic to the Schengen topic. They are naturally, legally, judicially and morally separated, but, unfortunately, from a political point of view, things have become less clear and that is why I believe that, without recognising this causality between the CVM and Schengen, because we are not allowed to do it, as it would mean abdicating from a legal principle and an earned right, we must understand that we must also make progress on the areas creating difficulties in certain capitals and in certain public opinions and that is why any good news concerning the fight against corruption, any good news in the fast adoption by Parliament of the codes of civil and criminal procedures, which is an older issue on the CVM, would help, but we must not accept from a public and formal point of view that fact that there is a causality between the two. There should not be one, but if some connect the two, we should give them arguments to disconnect them. Moreover, I believe it is very, very important that we also stimulate the Romanian and European economic environments that will benefit directly from the removal of the Schengen border at Romania’s western border,’ Geoana said.

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