The German Ambassador to Romania Andreas von Mettenheim (in picture) has publicly linked Romania’s Schengen Area membership to the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) reports, despite the European Commission’s ongoing insistence that the two are not interconnected nor interdependent.
Speaking on television program Dupa 20 Ani, German Ambassador Andreas von Mettenheim said “border corruption is linked to the general state of government and public administration,” when asked about connection between the CVM and Schengen processes.
The Ambassador indicated that last year’s political debacle was less responsible for Germany’s position than the EC’s Justice reports and the continuation in politics and public office of people with criminal convictions. “There are still MPs, deputies, senators, with criminal backgrounds,” said von Metttenheim.
Although important, the German Ambassador suggested that sorting out the issues of criminality and allegations hanging over people in public office was “neither a big nor a difficult step” and that it would go a long way to getting other Schengen Area countries on-side. He also said that nobody expected Romania to be a paradise, that neither Germany nor other countries are paradises, but that corruption must be dealt with. In Germany, corruption accusations lead to immediate dismissals, even before the court issues a conviction. It’s a different mentality in tackling corruption, the ambassador further explained. He also said that if Romania managed to take this next step, it will be closed to joining the Schengen area towards the end of the year
Dupa 20 Ani (After 20 Years) is a discussion program on Romanian channel PRO TV that looks at the country’s development over the last 20 years and at current affairs, with guests from politics, academia and the business world.
Romania’s Schengen admission was further delayed, after Germany and Finland expressed their intention to veto the country’s joining the border free zone, at the most recent Justice and Internal Affairs meeting.
Liam Lever, email@example.com
(photo source: German Embassy to Bucharest, copyright Mihai Constantineanu)