Germany is planning to block Romania and Bulgaria from entering the passport-free Schengen zone.
EU Foreign Ministers are discussing the matter in Brussels on Thursday but Berlin has warned that “even the idea of a partial approval is off the table” as both countries have failed it says to tackle corruption decisively.
Romania believes Germany’s stance is unfair and has warned Europe’s leaders that excluding the country from the Schengen agreement would remind the nation of a Cold War separation line that used to exist before 1989.“We express publicly the expectation to have the motivations, the reasons – but based on the treaties, based on the Schengen are key – not some other political considerations. This is an expectation and we (can) hardly wait for this debate to better understand where is the problem,” said Titus Corlatean, Romania’s Foreign Minister.
Such sentiments have been shared in Bulgaria but one former government minister freely admits there is much work to do before Sofia can be accepted.
Solomon Passy, former Bulgarian foreign minister said: “For Bulgaria, it is a hundred percent sure that the reputation of our country is identical to the reputation of its prime minister. And the Bulgarian prime minister, at this moment, does not enjoy very high recognition among his colleagues within the European Union.”
Germany has said it is prepared to use its veto to ensure Romania and Bulgaria are refused Schengen membership – a move expected to be backed by the Netherlands, which has also expressed concern over both countries efforts’ to stop migrants abusing the system.