Iohannis declares that Schengen decision can be postponed if necessary

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis declared in Riga that if no certain favorable vote on Romania’s Schengen accession is attained by the Justice and Home Affairs Council on December 8, the decision can be postponed by a month or two.

„I think the date of December 8 was circulated as a final deadline, which it is not. December 8 is the first possibility when this subject can be discussed and my, our interest is that when the vote is cast, it be clearly for Romania’s Schengen admission. Forcing a vote that may not be the expected one is of no use to anyone. This, as concerns the date of December 8. Romania’s chances are relatively good. We have good chances to be accepted to the Schengen Area, but as I said before, there is no a guarantee for that. There are Union member states that still have questions for us, that still have questions for the Schengen system itself”, the Romanian head of state declared after the meeting with his Latvian counterpart Egils Levits.

He stressed that Romania is willing and ready to provide responses to the countries that still have reservations regarding its Schengen readiness.

„These are legitimate questions and we are willing and ready to provide the answers. Just as we can now answer, for example, to our Dutch friends that the CVM has been lifted and this barrier no longer exists. For everyone interested, we have the two sets of experts who checked Romania’s preparation and found that we are very well prepared. We have no migratory flow, this is for our Austrian friends, and for questions coming from Sweden that mainly concerned police cooperation, we can tell them not only that we are mentally prepared, we are also prepared with personnel, so we are really ready and there also have been programs so far that have given good results. We are willing to expand them. We do not just say that the Schengen Area becomes safer if Romania joins, we also prove it and we will continue to do so”, Iohannis said.

He also noted that it is desirable that by the time of the JHA Council all these questions are answered and an agreement is reached.

„This is the version we want and this is the version that was proposed by the Presidency of the Union Council, which is currently held by the Czech Republic, but I want to be very clear, if for various reasons we do not secure the certainty that things are very clear, there is the possibility to postpone this decision for a month or two until all the questions receive clear and correct answers and everyone is convinced that not only are we not a vulnerability, but that we would be a real asset for the Schengen Area. To complete what I said – some have questions for us, and others question the Schengen itself. The Schengen Area operates according to rules that were established years ago. The world has changed. We know this too and there is a need to improve certain approaches, certain procedures. We are part of this process. We are now part of the process of improving the Schengen Area and obviously, if we become part of it we will continue these steps, but the argument that if the Schengen Area is not perfect, Romania and others must remain outside does not seem pertinent to me”, concluded President Iohannis.

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