President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday voiced appreciation for the support of the civil society for Romania’s goal of joining Schengen, noting that Austria opposes the enlargement of the free movement area for domestic electoral reasons.
“These initiatives are healthy, because it is good to know that it is not only us politicians who want Romania to join Schengen, it is not only us who want to protect the environment. It is good to have the support of the civil society, of the common people and to know that they also want these things and they want a cleaner environment. Whether such initiatives will speed up the process itself, we shall see. In reality, the process is taking place where it has been taking place from the beginning. The European Parliament has long given resolutions like this that Romania and Bulgaria should be part of Schengen, but the law is that it is voted in the Council of the Union, in the JHA format, so that is where the decision is made. Of course, in order to reach a favourable decision, everyone has to get involved politically, from the President to the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and so on. Everyone is working together to achieve this result. This time it is complicated, because Austria, for internal electoral reasons, opposes the Schengen enlargement,” said the head of state.