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Romania Blames Bulgaria for Possible Schengen Failure

Date: 03.01.2011

Bulgaria is dragging down Romania in its way to a Schengen Agreement entry, according to Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Bacosnschi.

He has stated that before the Romanian Adevarul paper on Monday. His opinion is in contrast to the Bulgarian government's position that Bulgaria is coping better with the assessment criteria.

"Germany has agreed with postponing Romania and Bulgaria's Schengen entry due to some delay in covering the technical criteria by the Bulgarian side," Baconschi has said.

He has also expressed his dissatisfaction that Germany and France are, according to him, "changing the rules in the middle of the game" and has stated that Romania may quit the Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification if its European partners use it as a tool to put the country under pressure.

On December 30th the Romanian online media Ziare.com reported that Bulgaria has failed the final test of technical readiness for accession to the Schengen Area.

The report stated that, unlike Romania, during the most recent inspection, Bulgaria has registered problems with the technical requirements for Schengen accession.

At the beginning of December, experts from the European Commission were on a mission in Sofia to assess Bulgaria's Schengen readiness, stating that Bulgaria and Romania's entry to the Schengen Agreement depends on the assessment of technical criteria. This was the seventh consecutive visit of Schengen experts in Bulgaria.

As an answer to France and Germany's recent opposition to the Schengen accession of the two newest EU members, the Bulgarian government sought to distance itself from Romania's negative reaction.

Unlike Romanian President Basescu, who called France and Germany's positions "discriminatory", the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov described the criticism of the two Balkan states as "fully justified."

On December 20, EP Vice President Rayner Wieland said in Sofia the decision on Bulgaria and Romania potential Schengen entry is to be made on March 27 2011.

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