The gate remains closed for Bulgaria and Romania

Article published on March 8, 2012
Article published on March 8, 2012
By Nicolas Arens, translated by Julie Schwannecke The last two candidates will have to wait some time until being accepted for entry in the EU. The club of the countries without frontiers, which is sometimes a little bit tense, ask for a new delay. This time the Dutch are blocking the entry.

“As long as necessary”-such was Mark Rutte’s answer to the question: “how long will your country be opposed to the entry into the Schengen of Romania and Bulgaria?” The two countries of Eastern Europe were rapidly disillusioned. Their entry into the club of the countries without visa will not happen immediately. Even if speaking of Rumania this isn’t due to a lack of efforts. Rumania’s seemingly opposition to the approval of the official status of Serbia as a EU candidate didn’t last too long. The only helpful action would have been a promise from the Commission to “follow attentively the protection of minorities” in Serbia in order to reassure Rumania. Then its instability would not have lead Rumania to demonstrate its blocking logic. Apparently, according to the leading officials Rompuy and Schulz, the two files are not related to each other. Therefore we would have on one hand the admission to Schengen of Sofia and Bucharest which is blocked and on the other hand Serbia which candidates from now on.

According to the Dutch the main problem remains in the corruption, the state of law and the independence of justice. This is what most members think but don’t say. Effectively, some member countries, including France would be in favour of slowing down the extension process of Schengen. However, one has to be critical about such strategy. The intention of a more intensified evaluation of the candidate countries can ruin in advance the mutual trust of the member countries in the club, which is vital for its functioning.

Therefore Bulgaria and Rumania will still have to wait, in spite the “political will of all the member states”, which was welcomed by Van Rompuy. We are waiting then for the conclusions of the Commission about the efforts realized by the two countries. To be continued in June…