Germany will oppose Romania’s Schengen entry at the upcoming Justice and Internal Affairs Council meeting on March 7 – 8, according to German federal Internal Affairs Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich (in picture), in an interview for Spiegel. He ruled out agreeing with a partial accession to Schengen for the two countries, meaning having airport and sea ports included, according to the German minister.
The Schengen expansion will only be accepted by German citizens if the basic premises are covered, which is not the case, Hans-Peter Friedrich added. He raised an issue which has been on the debate agenda for the last couple of months in the UK, immigration and the influx of Romanians and Bulgarians. Those who “come to cash in social benefits and abuse the right to free movement will have to be prevented from doing so taking efficient measures,” he further explained. One possibility would be restricting the right to return for those who had been already sent back to their home countries.
Romania and Bulgaria have been trying to join the free movement zone Schengen for the last couple of years, but the two countries faced opposition from several Schengen members, such as the Netherlands and France.
Romania’s External Affairs Minister Titus Corlatean recently said that another delay in Romania’s Schengen admission will affect the credibility of the accession process and Romania may not be interested in joining anymore. His statement was both criticized and supported by fellow politicians at home. Romania’s president publicly asked Corlatean to withdraw his statement on the Schengen admission, while others, like Prime Minister Ponta and head of Senate Crin Antonescu slightly shifted his statement, saying Romania has indeed other priorities on the table.