Schengen: the Netherlands continue to block the entrance to Bucharest and Sofia

Schengen: the Netherlands continue to block the entrance to Bucharest and Sofia

Belgrade : Serbia | Mar 02, 2012 at 2:25 AM PST
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The Netherlands showered, Thursday, March 1, the last hopes of Romania and Bulgaria to get at an EU summit scheduled in the evening leave to enter the Schengen passport-free zone, considering that conditions were not met.

"We believe that Bulgaria and Romania have not done everything we needed. They have made progress, but not enough to meet the Schengen requirements as we envision," said the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the sidelines of a meeting of European liberal leaders who stood Thursday before the summit in Brussels. Membership in Schengen Bucharest and Sofia must be approved unanimously by member countries and can not be separated. Any problems encountered by one of the candidates thus punishes the other. And diplomats said the Dutch reserves are focused on Bulgaria.


The Netherlands explained their opposition to their membership at this stage by the requirement of actual progress in the fight against corruption and the demonstration by both countries to ensure their ability to control their borders. "With all the problems we have now with the borders of Greece, the question is whether Bulgaria and Romania can be implemented in a timely manner on the ground all the prerequisites of Schengen requirements," he insisted Mr. Rutte.

Asked how long the Netherlands would maintain this position, he replied: "As long as necessary", insisting that this position enjoyed a "broad support" policy in the country. "Everything is in the hands of Romania and Bulgaria," he said, urging them to take steps to improve "the rule of law, fight against corruption and the independence of the judiciary". According to a European diplomat, he will probably wait now that the European Commission publishes new report in June on the situation in both countries hope to see them move the Netherlands, the only country to oppose.


In a separate folder, Romania, who was praying to accept the award on Serbia's candidate status for accession to the European Union (EU), has finally decided to lift its objection. The issue is also on the menu of the EU summit on Thursday evening. Although records are officially separate, thus slowing the process of EU accession in Belgrade, Bucharest also wanted to show how such an attitude could be annoying blocking for a country that has placed great hope in joining, said a diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The reason given publicly by Bucharest is that the government is seeking guarantees from Serbia on the rights of the Romanian minority living in the country (some 30 000 persons). The European Commission will commit to closely monitor "the implementation" of Serbian legislation protecting the rights of this minority.

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Netherlands' PM Rutte arrives at an European Union leaders summit in Brussels
Netherlands' PM Rutte arrives at an European Union leaders summit in Brussels
Nazish Fatima is based in Rāwalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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