ForMin Corlatean: We hope for favourable political decision on Romania Schengen access by year-end

Romania expects a favourable decision for its integration into the Schengen Area before the end of this year, Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Titus Corlatean said on Monday.

‘Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area stands as a priority and a legitimate right of our country as a EU member state. We have made efforts to fulfil the criteria of the Schengen Acquis, and of course when political conditions for a unanimous decision within the EU are met we have every interest to see this decision adopted in the two-step formula mentioned earlier; hopefully before the end of this year,’ Romanian Foreign Minister announced after talks with visiting Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans.

According to the Romanian chief diplomat, the two officials also talked about the European Commission’s report on the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) presented in Brussels on January 22.

‘We have also discussed the CVM issue and the progress mentioned in the Report presented in Brussels on January 22, which confirms the positive trend of the efforts in this area. We have pointed out the Romanian authorities’ determination to continue reforms and guarantee the independence of the judiciary. We have underlined (…) that we don’t see the connection between two important matters — the CVM and Schengen,’ Titus Corlatean underlined.

In his turn, Frans Timmermans said that the CVM report of the European Commission included encouraging elements and added that Holland would thoroughly study this document. He also maintained that the Dutch authorities’ position had always been the same, as they were strict and sometimes regarded harshly for being strict, but that they were also fair. Timmermans said that the Dutch authorities would have to acknowledge if Romania made any steps forward, adding that the report would be discussed in Brussels with the desire of solving the problems together.

Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans is paying an official visit to Bucharest at the invitation of his Romanian counterpart Titus Corlatean. The Dutch Foreign Minister has met earlier Chamber of Deputies Speaker Valeriu Zgonea and will also have a meeting with Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

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