Germany, France halt Romania, Bulgaria Schengen bids

The two Black Sea states hope to join the Schengen zone, which includes most of the EU, in March.

Germany, France halt Romania, Bulgaria Schengen bids

Germany and France produced new arguments to the European Union to halt Romania and Bulgaria's joining into the bloc's borderless travel zone, citing poor border and immigration controls.

The two Black Sea states hope to join the Schengen zone, which includes most of the EU, in March but Berlin and Paris are likely to block this. Preliminary discussions among member states on their accession are expected in January.

"In our opinion it is still premature to envisage the entry into the Schengen zone in March 2011," the interior ministers of France and Germany wrote in a letter, seen by Reuters, to the European Commission this week.

Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007.

Romanian President Traian Basescu criticised any attempt to impose new entry conditions on Bucharest. "We will not accept discrimination from anyone, not even from the EU's most powerful states. We must have the same conditions all the other states had that are also specified in the accession treaty," he said.

"Introducing new conditions is against European law and it creates an unacceptable precedent," Basescu was quoted as saying by daily Evenimentul Zilei.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov told reporters that the letter did not change Sofia's plans to push ahead with technical preparations for joining Schengen.

Illegal migrants and asylum seekers, crossing into EU member Greece from Turkey, can also use Romania and Bulgaria as a route to western Europe at a time when many governments in the bloc are trying to curb immigration.

Interior Ministers Brice Hortefeux of France and Thomas de Maiziere of Germany urged the EU to postpone any discussion of Schengen entry for the two states until they strengthen the ability of the judiciary and public administration to combat abuses.


Agencies

Last Mod: 22 Aralık 2010, 14:41
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