Dutch not against Romania joining Schengen if all conditions met

The Netherlands doesn’t oppose Romania joining the passport-free Schengen area per se as long as all the requirements are met, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.

Rutte made the comments during a visit to Romania where he traveled to see  Dutch troops stationed there.

The Netherlands has taken issue with corruption and said that Romania actually reversed some of the positive steps it had taken in the past on the rule of law.

Mr Rutte discussed the Schengen accession issue, a source of frustration for successive governments, with President Klaus Iohannis. Romanian officials say they have fulfilled the necessary requirements for joining Schengen and are being unjustly excluded.

EU members Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Ireland also want to join the Schengen area.

EU ministers are set to vote on Romanian and Bulgarian accession to Schengen in December.

“The Netherlands is not in principle against it. We (just) say that all countries that meet the conditions can join the Schengen area,” Rutte said.

He said Romania had taken steps toward membership in recent years.

Bulgaria and Romania  joined the EU in 2007, but are still subject to monitoring by the  Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification (CVM).

Iohannis said that discussions with Rutte on Schengen accession were positive.

There were no “special, unheard of or undisputed” requests from the Netherlands, Iohannis said, but only requests on Schengen-related issues.

“We will find together the best ways to solve the issues that are not yet 100% clarified because they are not all discussed yet. I am optimistic,” the Romanian president said.

France and Germany back Romania’s entrance into Schengen Area



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