While the government in Bucharest franticly looks for ways to overcome Austria’s refusal to allow Romania to join the Schengen area, as previously reported by The Balkan, Romanian Member of the European Parliament Eugen Tomac offered a grim assessment of the country’s chances of overcoming the setback in 2023.
In an interview with Radio France Internationale, Tomac declared that his country has no chance of entering Schengen in 2023 and said that the government in Bucharest should consider bringing the matter before the European Union’s Court of Justice. “I am absolutely convinced that in 2023 we have no chance. I have seen the program of the Swedish presidency, there is no reference to the expansion of the Schengen Area, the only aspect that is mentioned during the Swedish presidency is related to the consolidation of the Schengen Area.”
As for the second half of 2023, when Spain takes over the presidency, Tomac added, Spain “will have elections in December. I don’t see how a government entering the electoral campaign will have the expansion of the Schengen Area as a priority on its agenda, given that we know that both Spain and Italy are strongly criticized for the way they manage the EU's southern border.”
“2024 is a year with European parliamentary elections. Again, this topic will not be on the agenda of the Member States, because no one in an electoral campaign will say that they are expanding the Schengen Area, as the populists will automatically say that more migrants will come again. Precisely for that reason, I think that the most realistic term is at least two years,” Tomac concluded.
The Romanian Member of the European Parliament expressed his disappointment in Vienna’s opposition to Romanian accession to Schengen, adding that this country’s government “must use all the tools the EU gives us to fight for justice.”