Deputy Prime Minister Kelemen Hunor told a talk show on private broadcaster Realitatea Plus on Tuesday night that there are no arguments for Romania to be kept outside the Schengen Area, as long as it meets all the technical criteria, according to AGERPRES.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the process of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) must be closed this year and Romania must next join the Schengen Area.
"This year we must get this off our back, we must close the CVM process and the government will of course make every effort for this and will initiate everything that needs to be done in the field of justice first and foremost, but not only, so that the CVM is finally closed. And then, over 2021 - 2022 we should gradually enter the Schengen Area because it's not acceptable (...) to have all the technical criteria fulfilled and still have our Schengen accession permanently deferred. Economically it's a huge loss and from a, let's call it, moral point of view, it's an unsustainable situation. You have met the criteria? Then you are in for the next step," Kelemen Hunor said.
According to him, the entry can be staggered, with air access first, and land access next, but it is important that Romania joins the Schengen Area, because there are no arguments for it to be kept outside EU's border-free zone.
"Sure, the EU's external border will be Romania's border, for the most part (...), but this doesn't matter. We must defend the outer border and be in the Schengen Area. This is an important desideratum for the current coalition government," said Kelemen Hunor.