President Iohannis Favors Joint Entry of Romania and Bulgaria into Schengen
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis stated on Wednesday during a press conference in Belgium that negotiations for Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area continue on all fronts, adding that the best option is for Romania and Bulgaria to enter the Schengen Area together. This contradicts Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, who suggested that Bucharest might consider decoupling from Bulgaria.
The head of state stated that “negotiations for Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area continue on all fronts” and thanked Belgium for its support. “Negotiations for Romania’s Schengen accession are ongoing, and they are not happening at a low level; all of us are very involved, and we are all trying to convince, especially the Austrian side. The negotiations continue on all fronts, and of course, they are being discussed more informally than formally, and different variants of how to proceed are being considered. It is not difficult to see that there are few options: either we enter together with Bulgaria, or neither enters, or one enters and the other does not. By far, the best option is for Romania and Bulgaria to enter together, and that is the common goal of all negotiations and efforts to convince those who are still hesitant in this matter,” he explained.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu stated in an interview with Bloomberg that he would ask the Spanish government, which holds the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union, to convene an extraordinary JHA Council meeting in December to reexamine Romania’s Schengen Area candidacy.