On Monday, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis held a joint press conference with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, at the Cotroceni Palace after meeting to discuss Romania's prospect for joining the Schengen Area.
He explained, "We do not have a specific timetable in mind, whether it's June or October, but our goal is to complete this process for Romania this year." He added, "Unfortunately, we are encountering resistance from Austria, which has nothing to do with Romania."
"For us, joining the Schengen area remains a national goal, and we are all determined to achieve this result. It is a complex negotiation process because paradoxically we do not have to prove that we are ready. Everyone has accepted that Romania meets all the necessary conditions. However, we are faced with Austria's resistance, which is not related to Romania, but to migration and the Schengen borders in Europe. Several countries have effectively closed their borders, which makes the negotiation process extremely difficult. We do not have to prove anything, but the migration issue creates a difficult situation in which we have to intervene as much as possible."
Charles Michel said, "I am convinced that the EU would be safer with Romania's admission to the Schengen area. I realize that Romania has fulfilled all the obligations required for accession and I hope that a solution will be found soon. I will do everything in my power to ensure that this decision is taken as soon as possible. (...) I want to be able to tell the Romanian people that there is European support for Romania's accession to the Schengen area. Migration is indeed a challenge at the EU level. Last week we had the opportunity to discuss this issue in depth and we are making progress. Another discussion on this issue is planned for June. Here, too, you can count on me to do my best."