A new delay in letting Romania in the Schengen area brings other political risks, which can be even higher, such as not respecting the 2014 deadline for freeing the labor market for Romanians, said former Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Mircea Geoana (in picture).
“I am afraid that, given the poor reputation we have in Europe, some extra mechanisms may appear, which would avert Romanians from working freely across the EU. Even if treaties are broken again, what is happening to Schengen can happen to the free access on the labor market. This would indeed be a disaster,” said Geoana.
The reputation risk is significant and not to be neglected for Romania, and is reflected in the perception of investors, of the media and of decision makers. Turning the topic from the main national interest into a political fight makes Romania even more vulnerable, said the former minister.
So what Romania needs is good PR, to rebuild its image abroad, and it should start right away, with Germany top of the list, Geoana argued. Starting a fight with Germany, Europe’s largest economy, will not do Romania ant good, as Germany’s word in labeling Romania corrupt and unattractive weighs a lot for investors.
“Romania is at the lowest level of foreign investments in 2012 in the last 10 years. When the German Interior Minister speaks openly about corruption in Romania, every possible investor thinks ten times before choosing Romania and creating jobs here. So we do not only lose Schengen access, we lose investments and jobs, which are essential to the economy,” said Geoana.
The recent news about Schengen not being in cards once again for Romania triggered various political reactions at home, with some pointing to president Basescu, saying he’s to blame for this recent failure.
However, he says the responsibility needs to be searched for elsewhere, as he’s not accountable for the failure. He recently asked the PM Victor Ponta, the Foreign Affairs Minister Titus Corlatean and the Interior Minister Radu Stroe for a discussion about Schengen at the Cotroceni Palace on Tuesday morning (March 5 ).