Germany Ready to Continue Romania, Bulgaria's Schengen Accession Talks
Berlin is ready to go on with talks that will eventually result in Romania and Bulgaria's accession into the Schengen area without border control, the German Foreign Minister has said.
The country's top diplomat was on a visit to Romania March 9 prior to meeting his counterpart in Bulgaria, an event scheduled for Tuesday morning.
"We are continuing to work hard so that the countries which are not members of Schengen meet the accession conditions," DW quoted Steinmeier as saying in a press conference with his counterpart Bogdan Aurescu.
In his words, the EU Commission's latest report underlines the progress achieved by both countries in boosting the judiciary.
Romania and Bulgaria have been subject to a so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) following their 2007 accession in the EU. The last CVM report, issued in January, has argued Bulgaria's reforms are insufficient for a generally positive assessment.
Politicians in Sofia have recently warned Bulgaria and Romania could be decoupled under the mechanism after Bucharest showed in the last few years its commitment to strengthening the judiciary and fighting high-level corruption.
EU member states are divided over Bulgaria and Romania's prospective inclusion in the Schengen area, with some explaining neither has met the criteria and others arguing this is a question of a "political" decision.
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