Negrescu: The subject of Romania's full accession to Schengen, reopened towards the end of the year

MEP Victor Negrescu (PSD) declared, on Thursday, in an interview, that the subject of Romania's accession to the Schengen area with land borders could only be reopened towards the end of 2024, after the elections in Austria are over, which according to the MEP, would could make discussions difficult.

Negrescu, on full accession to Schengen: I would like us to stop philosophizing and act PHOTO: Archive

At the end of March, Romania enters the Schengen Area by air and sea. It is a step awaited for 13 years that we are currently taking. At the same time, we also enter two other important formats. We will be able to issue Schengen visas, which means that our consular mechanisms will be integrated into the free movement area. It is a significant, difficult, but important thing at the same time, and we will be part of the decision-making process specific to the free movement zone, that is, we will be at the decision table in terms of the decisions and discussions regarding the free movement zone. And this gives us some guarantee that the subject of Romania's accession to the Schengen Area can be reopened, rather towards the end of the year, after the elections in Austria are completed, but there are these prospects, we must show that we now meet these conditions to move forward, but still I support the importance of this objective“, said MEP Victor Negrescu (PSD) in an interview for

The MEP stated that he hopes that during the visit that Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer will have, next week, to the Congress of the European People's Party (EPP), in Bucharest, Romania's entry into the Schengen Area will also be discussed.

“It follows that cthe Austrian chancellor to come to Bucharest in the following days. I hope we will have these discussions regarding Romania's entry into the Schengen Area. We also saw somewhat blunt statements by the Austrian interior minister. He was talking about philosophy and I would like us not to philosophize and act and have a favorable decision for our country. We unlocked this decision at the end of last year. It was not simple. I am convinced that we can also unlock the total integration after 13 years of waiting”, said Negrescu.

Victor Negrescu believes that the talks on Romania's terrestrial accession to Schengen could be hampered by the elections in Austria, stating that if the pro-European parties will form a coalition in this country “then there are grounds for lifting this veto”.

“I estimate that we will be able to really discuss this subject only after the elections for the European Parliament are completed and the appointment of the future Commission and the election of the most important positions at the level of the European institutions, then we will be able to exert additional pressure together with the new European partners. Obviously, the elections in Austria risk making this difficult for us. That is why I rather see a discussion after the Austrian elections. I sincerely wish that the extremist party in Austria does not win that election and this might prevent a re-discussion of this topic. If the pro-European parties will form a coalition in Austria, then there are grounds for lifting this veto applied by the right-wing governors of that country”, Negrescu said.

The chief negotiator of the European Parliament for next year's budget of the European Union, MEP Victor Negrescu, mentioned that a grievance proposed to the Budget Committee is the “to adequately finance Romania's total integration into the Schengen Area”, adding that: “It is also a message that the European Parliament sends in this regard“.

Karner: It's very important not to philosophize about the next step

Moreover, as reported by Adevărul, on Monday, the Austrian Minister of the Interior Gerhard Karner recently showed that Austria maintains its opposition to a full Schengen accession of Romania and Bulgaria.

According to Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung, Austrian Minister Gerhard Karner, present at an event in Innsbruck, insisted on Austria's previous veto position on full membership.

“I think it's very important to take this step now and not philosophize about the next one”Karner said about the next step regarding the full accession of the two states in the free movement area, that is, the inclusion with land borders, in March to be eliminated controls at airports and ports.

According to Austrian media, the government in Vienna is facing increasing pressure from the European Union for the acceptance of the two states in the free movement area.

The timetable for full accession to the Schengen area, announced by the Executive from Bucharest, is still uncertain, political sources previously stated for “Adevărul” that discussions for ticking off this objective will be held in the second half of 2024, after the European elections.