MEP Dacian Ciolos says that the Romanian government should have a "clear diplomatic offensive plan" to put the subject of Romania's and Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area back on the EU agenda and put pressure on Austria and the Netherlands in this regard, told Agerpres.
"After the elections taking place today in Lower Austria, one of the reasons why Chancellor Karl Nehammer was totally inflexible on Schengen, I expect the Romanian government to have a clear diplomatic offensive plan to bring up the subject of the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen area on the EU agenda. It's just that, from the public information I have, such plan either doesn't exist, or it exists but it's kept so secret that even those who should implement it don't know about it," Ciolos said in a social media post on Sunday.
According to him, coordination with Bulgaria on accession to the Schengen area helps Romania.
"What I expect from the government for this national objective are the following: a negotiation plan, a negotiation team enhanced with institutions and relevant people and a constant political pressure on Austria and the Netherlands to sit down at the negotiating table. The plan should also include Bulgaria, which, although it is about to hold elections, has a government in office with a prime minister who has proven that he can negotiate effectively even when vested with limited powers. From the experience of lifting Canadian visa requirements for the Romanian nationals, which I successfully managed in 2016, I know that coordination with Bulgaria helps, even when Bulgaria had elections and their own agenda," the MEP added.
Ciolos believes that a referral of Austria to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) by Romania "may put additional pressure," but such approach would be "only part of the negotiation plan, not the core element."
"The decision in the European Council remains a political one, and the analysis and a possible good resolution for us by the CJEU on such a referral could even take some years," added Ciolos.
He said that he does not see, however, "an efficient coordination by the Romanian ministers" on this subject.
"I don't understand what the Romanian government is doing for one of the most important country goals in recent years. I just hope that we don't sit and wait for others to solve our problem - or for the problem to solve itself, as a consequence of some discussions on the politics of asylum and migration, because we are losing a good moment every day and any new failure will fuel distrust in society both in Romanian politics and in the EU," Ciolos showed.