ForMin Corlatean: We are not sitting idle for meeting Schengen political requirements

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Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Titus Corlatean said that a favorable decision on Romania's Schengen accession will be taken when the "political requirements" for a consensus are met, but pointed out that Romania will not wait "arms crossed" to meet these conditions.

"The Premier has already clearly expressed the position of the Romanian government, I am merely repeating it, namely that as soon as the political requirements for consensus are met, we expect this subject to be immediately entered on the agenda of the Council for a correct and legitimate decision to be made on Romania and Bulgaria. I assure you that we are not sitting idle for these requirements to be met. We keep on doing what we have to do, yet without bidding over, without overestimating, and after a more complicated European period we expect rationality to return to legitimate and non-discriminatory decision-making for all EU members. (...) When the political conditions are met you will have a favorable decision on Romania and Bulgaria," Corlatean declared at the European Commission's Representation in Romania at the ceremony for Greece taking over the Presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2014.

In response to the question whether Romania will still insist with the Greek Presidency for the inclusion of the Schengen subject on the agenda of the Council, Corlatean underscored that regardless of the government, Romania's steady and consistent stance has been that joining the free movement space is a legitimate and natural goal based on the fulfillment of the criteria.

"According to EC assessments and having also the EP political support to rely on, Romania fulfills the objective criteria of the Schengen acquis," added the Foreign Minister.

He reminded the statement European Commission President Jose Barroso has made on the Schengen issue, pointing out that this had been a "very accurate and fair intervention."

"He said many things we ourselves have stated in the domestic political context or in relationship with the European partners, so there was nothing new, but with the EC authority he stressed that there is no connection whatsoever between the Schengen accession criteria, the criteria clearly set forth in the acquis, and other political considerations, some of which have to do with the European climate which is even more complicated by the economic crisis or by specific and political conditions in certain member states," said Corlatean.

The Minister indicated that at their meeting in Athens in November last year, he and his Greek counterpart Evangelos Venizelos also discussed Schengen accession.

"Greece has consistently supported and further supports this legitimate goal of Romania and of course, Bulgaria, and we appreciate this," concluded Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean.AGERPRES

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