Bulgaria, Romania to Boost Parliamentary Cooperation over Schengen
Bulgaria's Parliament Speaker and the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania agreed Monday on parliamentary cooperation on the Schengen accession of the two countries.
The two reached agreement on bilateral parliamentary cooperation, regular meetings of the committees in charge of Schengen accession, and on issuing common clearly articulated stances to the European Commission, according to reports of 24 hours daily.
Monday's meeting was also attended by Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who welcomed the decision for bilateral parliamentary cooperation, stressing that it was also necessary, apart from the partnership on the governmental level, which was developing well.
"It is unfair to have fulfilled the technical criteria, to implement commitments concerning guarding the border and the area of freedom, security and justice and at the same time be tied to political criteria for Schengen accession," Mihail Mikov declared.
"We would like to propose a new strategy and to state clearly that we are prepared for Schengen accession and that we do not want the decision on our countries postponed yet again, it is humiliating," Ponta noted.
Mikov spoke about the upcoming launch of a tripartite police cooperation center between Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia, which would be headquartered in Vidin.
He argued that the step would be appreciated by the EC because it would bring added value in the sphere of security both for the three countries and the EU as a whole.
The three commented that the policy of pitting Bulgaria against Romania and of exchanging mutual accusations about who was to blame for the postponement of the Schengen accession, which had been applied so far, had been an obstacle.
They suggested that the agreement on joining efforts was expected to bring success in 2014, stressing that it was very important for Bulgaria and Romania to speak with one voice.
Valeriu Zgonea, President of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania, also brought up the issue of Danube and Black Sea cooperation and opportunities for using EU funds to reinforce the Black Sea coast.
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