Bulgaria, Romania Decoupled for Schengen - Romanian PressBulgaria in EU | September 3, 2012, Monday // 14:46| views
Bulgaria and Romania are increasingly being "decoupled" in their bids to join the borderless Schengen Area, according to Monday reports of the Romanian press.
The Romanian paper Adevarul supports this conclusion by mentioning the fact that EC President Jose Manuel Barroso, who was in Sofia at the end of last week for the opening of the second line of the Sofia Metro, went to Bulgaria only, instead of visiting both Bulgaria and Romania.
The paper further cites a statement of European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding that the European Union might postpone Romania's Schengen entry indefinitely, adding that EU officials usually visit both countries.
Another Romanian daily, Evenimentul Zilei, describes Reding's statement as a "diplomatic blow" against Romania.
The paper goes further by saying that Romania has become a "problematic" country for the EU, and by citing Barroso's statements in Sofia about Bulgaria's alleged progress.
The Romanian press notes that the Romanian Foreign Ministry has reacted with surprise to the statements of EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, and has declared that they create conditions for discriminatory policies.
Adevarul writes that in the best-case scenario Romania will learn at the September Council Justice and Home Affairs Council of the EU when it case will be resolved.
Romanian Prime Minister Viktor Ponta is quoted by Romanian news agency Agerpres as saying that a decoupling of Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen bids is impossible.
"We're talking about the fact that the person who represents the point of view of the European Commission is President Barroso. As far as the Schengen Area is concerned – this is the responsibility of Commissioner Malstroem. Mrs. Reding is not dealing with Schengen but with justice and other areas," Ponta stated in a Sunday night TV show.
Ponta went further as to slam Reding for "not having an idea how the court system works, neigher having a mandate to speak on someone's behalf."
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