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Minister-delegate for European Affairs Victor Negrescu was in The Hague on Monday to discuss with the head of the Dutch diplomacy, Halbe Zijlstra, about Romania's accession to Schengen and the relations between the two countries in a European context.

According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) release sent to AGERPRES on Tuesday, the two officials also discussed the advanced stage of the economic relations and the main elements at this moment on the European agenda, among which the multiannual financial framework, the future of the European Union and the common defence policy, in the context of Romania's holding the presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2019.

In Minister Negrescu's opinion, the talks have been constructive and represent an important step in the Government's strategy of promoting the future presidency of the Council of the EU.

"The Netherlands is an important economic partner for Romania and these good relations must also exist on a political level. An important topic on the agenda was the accession of our country to Schengen and why this must be an interest element for the Netherlands. Romania has been observing for many years all criteria to join the Schengen area. It is high time we be clear and ask our partners to respect the European regulations approving our accession to this mechanism," Victor Negrescu said.

According to the release, the Minister-delegate for European Affairs conducted several campaigns in Europe for Romania's accession to Schengen, among which #RomâniaCereSchengen (Romania asks Schengen) petition, signed by tens of thousands of Romanians and filed with the European Parliament.

"The Minister-delegate for European Affairs did not hesitate to promote the possibility of a future voting in the Justice and Home Affairs Council," the release reads.

"Romania's accession is a right. The European Commission's message and that of several partner European countries is clear: Romania must be received in Schengen. We no longer have anything and any reasons to wait for. Romania has already been participating in all technical mechanisms in the area through the efforts of the Interior Ministry and supports on a governmental level all measures guaranteeing their successful fulfillment. In my opinion, voting in the JHA Council is necessary," Negrescu said.

In The Hague, the Minister-delegate for European Affairs also had meetings with members of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Parliament and with representatives of the Dutch academic and associative environment, the release also shows. AGERPRES (RO - author: Madalina Cerban, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - author: Adina Panaitescu, editor: Rodica State)

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