France Dims Bulgaria's Schengen Hopes Again
The requirements for Bulgaria and Romania for membership in the Schengen free area have not been fulfilled, according to the spokesperson of the French government Najat Belkacem-Vallaud.
Belkacem-Vallaud is cited by the Bulgarian Darik news and AFP as stating that France was saying "No" to the two countries Schengen joining, and it wasn't the only Member State to do so currently.
On September 19, the French Minister of Interior Affairs Manuel Valls pointed out Bulgaria and Romania's accession to Schengen area was still not on the agenda.
On Wednesday, he also said Roma in France must be extradited back to Bulgaria and Romania because they could not integrate in French lifestyle, prompting strong criticism from the European Commission.
Some French politicians, such as Jean-François Cope, Chair of former President Nickolas Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), have demanded from current Head of State, Francois Hollande to officially declare his country's position on the matter, as they firmly oppose the entry of Romania and Bulgaria into the Schengen area.
Transitional provisions allowed the EU countries to delay opening their labor markets to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals for a maximum period of seven years from the accession of these countries to the EU in 2007.
Many countries lifted those restrictions long ago, but France will keep them until the deadline laid out in the treaties - January 1, 2014.
Politicians such as Cope and Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French nationalist Front National (FN) promulgate this date as a red cloth, equating it to Romania and Bulgaria joining of Schengen, saying it would facilitate even further Roma emigration to France.
Last week Le Pen urged Valls to show France will firmly oppose the two countries Schengen membership.
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