The Prime Minister of Romania, Ludovic Orban, pointed out his belief that Romania has met all of the criteria to join the Schengen Area. His statement was made during the Munich Security Conference held in Germany.
Orbans’s office issued a press release that relayed his views of Romania’s eligibility to join the Schengen Area. The press release states his belief that Romania plays a vital role in defending a large portion of the EU border.
“Prime Minister Orban also highlighted the extremely important role of Romania in defending a significant segment of the European Union border. The Romanian high official went on to evoke the ongoing efforts of the Bucharest authorities to fulfil the conditions for joining the euro area,” the press release reads.
This isn’t the first time that Orban has expressed his beliefs about Romania’s eligibility for Schengen membership. He also mentioned it during a visit to Brussels in January.
“From our point of view, Romania respects all the conditions for joining Schengen. Regarding the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), we have expressed our determination to transpose the recommendations contained in the annual report and our belief that Romania will comply with all standards and good practices at European level in the field of justice,” Orban said.
Romania has been trying to join the Schengen Area since 2011. In a December 2018 resolution, the majority of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favor of allowing Romania and Bulgaria to join, but it has not yet happened.
There are several requirements for a country to Join the Schengen Area. This is what the European Commission’s Migration and Home Affairs website says about how a country can join:
“Joining the Schengen Area is not merely a political decision. Countries must also fulfil a list of pre-conditions, such as be prepared and have the capacity to:
- Take responsibility for controlling the external borders on behalf of the other Schengen States and for issuing uniform Schengen visas
- Efficiently cooperate with law enforcement agencies in other Schengen States in order to maintain a high level of security once border controls between Schengen countries are abolished
- Apply the common set of Schengen rules (the so-called “Schengen acquis”), such as controls of land, sea and air borders (airports), issuing of visas, police cooperation and protection of personal data
- Connect to and use the SIS.”
The SIS is the Schengen Information System. It allows member countries’ law enforcement to communicate information about border control and security. Romania shares borders with Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, and Serbia, none of which belong to the Schengen Area. The only Schengen member that borders Romania is Hungary.