A new state, Sweden, through the a state secretary for Migration, has stated that reforming the system is necessary before the expansion of the Schengen area. In Tuesday’s meeting of EU interior ministers, there will be no vote on Romania’s accession to Schengen, as initially scheduled.
Swedish State Secretary for Migration, Nicole de Moor, stated on Tuesday that reforming the system is necessary before expanding the Schengen area. The Swedish official made these statements on Tuesday, ahead of the JHA meeting. “We are talking about an expansion of the Schengen Area, but before that, the system itself needs reform. Europe must also be prepared. There is a sense of urgency, but everyone knows it’s a crucial moment. We need to reform not only the migration system but also the Schengen system. We need to take control of migration, with strong borders, so that we can distinguish between those fleeing war and persecution who need help in the EU and those who are not fleeing war and persecution and have no right to enter the EU. In addition, we need greater solidarity among EU states,” said Nicole de Moor, Secretary of State for Migration from Belgium, according to Digi 24.
Romanian Interior Minister Cătălin Predoiu stated on Tuesday, upon arriving at the Council of Justice and Home Affairs meeting in Brussels, that there is time for the parliament and government of The Hague to decide on lifting the veto on Bulgaria’s accession to Schengen by the end of the year, after which ‘we will know what the next steps are.’
When asked if he believes that the Netherlands will have time to decide by the end of the year on lifting the veto regarding Bulgaria, Predoiu said that ‘there is time for the Hague Parliament and the Dutch government to make a decision,’ and ‘after this decision is made, we can see if we take further procedural steps, but there is time.’
Regarding Romania and the veto given by Austria, Predoiu said that intense discussions are taking place between Romania and Austria. “We even had a meeting with Karner, the Austrian Minister of Interior, last night. A very good discussion. Since August 23, when we met and reset, if you will, the dialogue between our ministries, we have constantly engaged in this dialogue. It is intense. We have discussed numerous times, both in Vienna and here in Brussels, both officially and informally. This is the main channel of discussions. We also discuss with the business environment. As I said, discussions are intense and very good. We have not kept the dialogue strictly at the ministry level; we have expanded this dialogue. Schengen, the expansion of the Schengen Area, is a subject of interest for Romanian citizens, Romanian companies, but at the same time, for the Austrian business environment present in Romania and for the business environment of other countries present in Romania, for our external partners, there are many economic interests at stake.”