MEPs call for Schengen expansion

In a debate in the EU Parliament, MEPs have spoken out in favour of admitting Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area as quickly as possible. However, final approval requires a unanimous decision in the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council in December. Romania's press comments on the prospect of the Netherlands vetoing the accession.

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RFI România (RO) /

Is the EU at all able to make decisions?

Representatives of the CDA, a partner in the Dutch coalition government, expressed major reservations about Romania's accession. The Romanian service of Radio France International criticises that such a small minority can in effect block decisions:

“And this is where the Europe of nations shows itself in all its glory: when a single government or even just one party in a government coalition can block a decision reached by the entire Union. And proves stronger than the EU Parliament and the EU Commission together. Everyone may judge for themselves to what extent such a Europe can function and serve Romania's interests.”

Spotmedia (RO) /

Sadly, opponents have powerful arguments

Romania is certainly making things easy for its critics though, Spotmedia points out:

“The government has increasingly come under fire in recent months over the situation of whistleblowers, its legislation on the judiciary and the political pressure that is exerted on journalists. ... And even though the MEPs have explicitly stated that both countries belong in the Schengen area and there are no second-class citizens, the decision depends on the EU Council, and therefore on the national governments. And such escapades on the part of the politicians and judiciary in Bucharest are grist to the mill for governments like the Dutch one which want to block the accession process.”