(Correspondence) Greece to push for consensus on Romania joining Schengen

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AGERPRES correspondent Florin Stefan reports: Greece calls for the immediate Schengen accession of Romania and Bulgaria and during Greece's Presidency of the Council of the European Union, we shall push for consensus on adopting a decision in this regard, Greek Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection Nikolaos Georgios-Dendias said in Athens.

Nikolaos Georgios-Dendias is the Greek official to head the meetings of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council, the home affairs section, during the Greek EU Council Presidency.

In mid-December, Dimitris Kourkoulas, the deputy of the Greek foreign minister, said in Brussels that the Greek Presidency of the EU Council will do its utmost to choose the most suitable moment and manner to include the topic regarding Romania and Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen Area on the Council's agenda, so as to get positive results.

Dimitris Kourkoulas said on that occasion that the Schengen file is also related to "the procedure regarding the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism", but he assured that "the Greek Presidency will try to manage this aspect in a productive way."

Romania and Bulgaria presented a joint statement on Dec. 5 at the JHA Council, pointing out that they will request the resumption of Council talks when unanimity is reached on the subject.

"Romania considers that fresh discussions at the JHA Council on Schengen accession without the prospect of a unanimous political decision are likely to perpetuate this stalemate which is not attributable to it, given that it has met all the criteria set forth in the Schengen acquis. Underscoring that they stay committed to joining the Schengen Area, as well as their openness to closely cooperating with member states on achieving this objective, Romania and Bulgaria indicated that they will seek the resumption of Council talks as soon as unanimity is reached," the Romanian-Bulgarian joint statements read.

The two countries also invited the European partners to respond within shortest time possible to the legitimate expectations of a positive decision on Romania and Bulgaria's Schengen accession in accordance with the provisions of the two countries' Treaty of Accession to the EU.AGERPRES

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