Romania and Bulgaria are at the door of the Schengen area. Germany has sent the wrong message at the wrong time

By Andrey Gott

Wrong message at the wrong time: it brings grist to the mill and populist Eurosceptic David Cameron. Romania and Bulgaria do not enter into the Schengen area of free movement. Their case will be, at best, reviewed at the end of the year, and nothing says that member states hostile to the entry of both countries have in the meantime changed their point of view to enable them to access One day in space without borders.


Enlargement of the Schengen area - which currently includes twenty-two countries - involves a unanimous decision of the Member States. The European Commission (which does not participate in the decision) gave encouragement: she had yet felt they had fulfilled their obligations at least on a technical level. Bucharest and Sofia hoping thus a favorable vote at the meeting of interior ministers of Twenty-Seven on March 7, especially as the European Parliament is on the same wavelength. Romanian and Bulgarian, full of bitterness, have given up and have finally decided to submit an application.


Germany saw things quite differently, and it was not a surprise in an interview several days ago, the Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich warned that his country would issue a veto, especially as Romania and Bulgaria not fighting corruption seriously enough and justice remains uncertain administrations and border guards remain corruptible, said Berlin. Ultimately, the ministerial meeting on Thursday was limited to a brief review of the case, any decision has been postponed until December. The Irish Presidency has said that his work was done and it simply passed the following foldera President, Lithuania. No decision is expected before a new report CVM, the famous CVM reports that assess their progress. As the Dutch Minister, Fred Teeven, stated very clearly in a statement: it will happen before December. German Minister at the end of the meeting wished to reiterate that the current situation can not take a decision now and he launched the dreaded word "there goes the security of European citizens". The stench populist on the eve of elections is too obvious and he joined the speech David Cameron.


The German threat of veto was "populist and misleading," said the Socialist Group in the European Parliament. Hélène Flautre, the Greens, she speaks about a "deleterious position" for the European project and criticizes the arguments referring to the risk of "immigration of poverty." Especially as Romanians and Bulgarians already have, in fact, the right to free movement since the accession of their country in 2007. With a caveat: their identity is checked when entering the Schengen area.


The Netherlands had hitherto been the most hostile, fearing a new wave of immigration is European while some 140,000 Romanians and Bulgarians are already established in the kingdom. The new government set up in The Hague but softened his stance, while requiring two successive reports of the Commission show the progress of the rule of law in both countries. In reality, the Dutch were not isolated. Sheltered behind them, seven or eight states have voted against joining Schengen Romanians and Bulgarians. Leader of the Opposition, the Netherlands have softened their position, they believed, illusion of a moment with the requirement of two consecutive positive reports. Germany, it hardened its position rejecting any compromise when it had initially accepted the principle of open borders in two stages: first land and sea, in the air then.


Worse, the German minister has extended the scope of its requirements by dwelling on the risks related to free movement and tourism "social benefits" complaining also observe a greater proportion of Bulgarians and Romanians poor Germany. With the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and the United Kingdom, Germany challenged the Commission on this subject, these countries asking for measures to fight against this problem. Interviewed in the press room at noon appointment, Jonathan Todd, spokesman for the Social Affairs Commissioner? Lazlo Andor, he felt that this is a "non-issue and we will not make a proposal on a problem that does not exist." About confirmed by the internal affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmström said that the European Commission did not intend to change the directive on free movement. Jonathan Todd said that the Commission has asked all countries concrete evidence of what they advanced, without ever receive. This is the heart of the European project and the confidence that all Europeans must stand together, we might add.


Whatever liability, negligence, these two countries are vis-à-vis the situation, we feel hurt, unnecessarily injured, torn between despair, denial and rejection of any renunciation. Romania's Prime Minister, Mr Ponta, request clarification from Germany: specifically what do you want from us? It is unlikely to receive a response before the German elections this fall. Of encour agements another type would have been welcome.