Romania Keeps Alive Hope for Schengen Entry in 2011

Bulgaria in EU | June 10, 2011, Friday // 12:46|  views

A Romanian border policeman waits for an incoming train to be checked, at the Ungheni passing point between Romania and the Moldovan Republic, some 400 km north-east from Bucharest, on 18 January 2011. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Romania is still hoping to be let in the EU passport-free Schengen zone before the end of 2011 despite Thursday's decision of the bloc's interior ministers to delay entry until mid-2012 at the earliest.

"Our target date is the year 2011, in the autumn," Romanian interior minister Traian Igas told the German press agency DPA.

Fears over expanding the borderless Schengen zone have been fueled following the influx of migrants into Europe following the upheavals in North Africa.

"I think this influx made many member states much more vigilant," said Igas.

Bulgaria and Romania will not join the European Union's passport-free Schengen area until mid-2012 at the earliest, the bloc's interior ministers decided on Thursday.

European Union interior ministers met in Luxembourg just a day after the non-binding vote of the European Parliament, which allowed Bulgarians and Romanians to travel across Europe without a passport.

EU interior ministers acknowledged that Bulgaria and Romania's border controls have risen up to meet Schengen standards, but said the decision of their governments on when to accept new members into the zone will be based on wider criteria, including judicial reform and the fight against corruption.

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Tags: Igas, Traian, Interior Minister, Romanian, Bulgarian, EP, European parliament, MEPs, Romania, Schengen, Schengen Agreement, Schengen zone, Schengen Accession, Schengen Area, Turkish border, Bulgarian-Turkish border, Turkish - Bulgarian border, Carlos Coelho, border control, rapporteur, Germany, France, Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Sweden, European Union, interior, Ministers, Bulgaria, EU


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