Romania’s Schengen entry will no longer be decided this fall, as was initially planned, as the Justice and Internal Affairs meeting has been delayed until the spring of 2013. The meeting delay was requested by the Cyprus presidency of the European Union, according to Romania’s European Affairs Minister Leonard Orban, quoted by Mediafax. Several countries would have still opposed Romania and Bulgaria’s entry to Schengen area, so the meeting was delayed.
Romania has been trying to join the Schengen area for the last two years, and all three consecutive presidencies of the EU – Hungarian, Polish and Danish had the Schengen expansion on their agenda, but a consensus has yet to be reached to allow the latest countries to have joined the EU, Romania and Bulgaria, into the Schengen area.
Commentators say this new delay may be a consequence of the political scandal in Romania this summer, when the country’s president was suspended. Before that, Romania had high hopes of being admitted into the Schengen area in two steps. The Netherlands and Germany however wanted to first see the European Commission report on Romania’s Justice system, scheduled later on this year, then decide whether to allow the country in.